- 1 Washing Away Health: Navigating Cleanliness, Wellness and Resistance in a Microbial World 2018
- 2 What is Bio Green Clean 2019
- 3 NBC News Sept. 2, 2016
- 4 Quartz February 2, 2019
- 5 Center for Health Journalism September 23, 2016
- 6 Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Feb; 11(2): 2209–2217.
- 7 Cleveland.com November 4, 2019
- 8 European Lung Foundation September 10, 2017
- 9 DSMZ 2019
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Without health, we have nothing. All the money in the world will not save our body if we treat our body with bad nutrition.
Reproduced from original article:
January 18, 2020
- Sauna bathing can be used as an exercise mimetic (i.e., an exercise-mimicking tool) to increase your longevity and health span. Men using Finnish-style, dry heat sauna seven times per week cut their risk of death from fatal heart problems in half, compared to those who used it only once a week
- Compared to once-a-week sauna use, those who have four to seven sessions per week have a 61% lower risk for stroke. Heat stress from sauna bathing has also been shown to lower your risk of high blood pressure
- Heat stresses your heart and body similar to that of exercise, and produces many of the same results. As your body is subjected to heat stress, it gradually becomes acclimated to the heat, prompting a number of beneficial changes and adaptations
- Recent research has demonstrated that sauna bathing also helps modulate your autonomic nervous system, which governs your stress responses
- Many of the life extending benefits of sauna bathing are related to the workings of heat shock proteins, which protect protein structures and prevent protein aggregation
When it comes to improving your health, some of the simplest strategies can have a tremendous impact. Sweating in a sauna, for example, has many great health benefits, including expelling of toxins, improving blood circulation, killing disease-causing microbes and improving mitochondrial function.
The key word here is sweating. Just because you are in the sauna doesn’t mean you get the benefits. The sauna has to heat your core temperature up a few degrees, your heart rate needs to increase and you need to have a river of sweat, otherwise you simply will not get these benefits. This is important as many infrared saunas fail to heat you sufficiently to achieve these benefits.
Research has even shown that regular sauna use correlates with a reduced risk of death from any cause, including lethal cardiovascular events, and may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
For example, researchers in Finland — a country where most homes come equipped with a sauna — found that men who used a sauna four to seven times a week for an average of 15 minutes had a 66% lower risk of developing dementia, and 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s, compared to men who used the sauna just once a week.1,2
How Sauna Bathing Promotes Good Heart Health
Another long-term study3,4 by the same Finnish research team, published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2015, revealed that men who used the Finnish-style, dry heat sauna seven times per week also cut their risk of death from fatal heart problems in half, compared to those who used it only once a week.
This held true even after confounding factors such as smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were factored in. In regard to time, the greatest benefits were found among those who sweated it out for 19 minutes or more each session.
Both the duration and the frequency had dose dependent effects, so the longer the exposure time of each session and the more frequent the sessions, the better the outcome.
One mechanism for this effect is thought to be related to the fact that heat stresses your heart and body similar to that of exercise, thus prompting similar effects. This includes increased blood flow to your heart and muscles (which increases athletic endurance) and increased muscle mass due to greater levels of heat-shock proteins and human growth hormone (HGH).
In the video lecture5,6 above, Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., reviews how sauna bathing can be used as an exercise mimetic (i.e., an exercise-mimicking tool) to increase your longevity and health span. As noted by Patrick:7
“Several studies have shown that frequent sauna bathing (4-7 times per week, 174°F for 20 min.) is associated with a 50% lower risk for fatal heart disease, 60% lower risk for sudden cardiac death, 51% lower risk for stroke, and 46% lower risk for hypertension.
Just a single sauna session has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve heart rate variability, and improve arterial compliance. Some of the positive benefits of the sauna on heart health may have to do with similar physiological changes that also occur during physical exercise.
For example, there is a 50-70% redistribution of blood flow away from the core to the skin to facilitate sweating. You start to sweat. Heart rate increases up to 150 beats per minute which correspond to moderate-intensity physical exercise.
Cardiac output (which is a measure of the amount of work the heart performs in response to the body’s need for oxygen) increases by 60-70%. Immediately after sauna use, blood pressure and resting heart rate are lower than baseline similar to physical activity.”
What Studies Show
Patrick reviews several studies in her lecture. In addition to those already mentioned, a study8 published in 2018, using the same Finnish cohort, looked specifically at stroke risk over a follow-up period of 14.9 years. As in previous studies, benefits were dose dependent.
Compared to once-a-week sauna use, those who had four to seven sessions per week had a 61% lower risk for stroke. A similar association was found for ischemic stroke but not for hemorrhagic stroke. As noted by the authors:
“This long-term follow-up study shows that middle-aged to elderly men and women who take frequent sauna baths have a substantially reduced risk of new-onset stroke.”
Heat stress from sauna bathing has also been shown to lower your risk of high blood pressure. In one such study,9 which had a median follow-up of 24.7 years, the hazard ratio for high blood pressure in those using the sauna two to three times a week was 0.76, compared to 0.54 for those using it four to seven times a week.
In other words, using it two to three times a week may lower your risk of high blood pressure by 24%, while using it four to seven times a week can push your risk down by 46%, and this is likely one of the mechanisms by which sauna bathing helps lower your cardiovascular mortality risk.
Even a single sauna session has been shown to reduce pulse wave velocity, blood pressure, mean arterial pressure and left ventricular ejection time.10 Here, systolic blood pressure decreased from an average of 137 mm Hg before sauna bathing to 130 mm Hg afterward. Diastolic blood pressure decreased from 82 to 75 mm Hg, mean arterial pressure from 99.4 to 93.6 mm Hg and left ventricular ejection time from 307 to 278 m/s.
Different Types of Saunas
Most studies on sauna use involve wet Finnish saunas. Traditionally, rocks are heated to a temperature of about 174 degrees Fahrenheit in a wood burning stove, and water is then poured on the rocks to create steam.
But there are several other types of saunas to choose from as well, including far-infrared saunas and near-infrared emitters and lamps.11 Most sauna makers would have you believe that the difference between an infrared sauna and the traditional Finnish-style saunas (whether wet or dry) is that the Finnish-style sauna heats you up from the outside in, like an oven.
But this is simply untrue. The wavelengths of a far-infrared sauna only penetrate a few millimeters, so if you have a far-infrared sauna, unless the temperature in the sauna is around 170 degrees F, it is unlikely you will be getting many benefits.
That said, near-infrared saunas have several additional benefits over other types of saunas, including far-infrared saunas. For starters, it penetrates your tissue more effectively than far-infrared because wavelengths under 900 nanometers (nm) in the near-infrared are not absorbed by water like the higher wavelengths in mid- and far-infrared, and thus can penetrate tissues more deeply.
When you look at the rainbow spectrum, the visible part of light ends in red. Infrared-A (near-infrared) is the beginning of the invisible light spectrum following red. This in turn is followed by infrared-B (mid-infrared) and infrared-C (far-infrared).
While they cannot be seen, the mid- and far-infrared range can be felt as heat. This does not apply to near-infrared, however, which has a wavelength between 700 and 1,400 nm. To learn more about this, see my interview with Dr. Alexander Wunsch, a world class expert on photobiology.
Near-Infrared Radiation Is Important for Optimal Health
My personal sauna preference is the near-infrared, as this range affects your health in a number of important ways,12 primarily through its interaction with chromophores in your body.
Chromophores are molecules that absorb light, found in your mitochondria and in water molecules. (To make sure the near-infrared rays can penetrate your skin, avoid wearing clothing when using a near-infrared sauna.)
In your mitochondria, there’s a specific light-absorbing molecule called cytochrome c oxidase (CCO), which is part of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and absorbs near-infrared light around 830 nm.
CCO is involved in the energy production within the mitochondria. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — cellular energy — is the end product. ATP is the fuel your cells need for all of their varied functions, including ion transport, synthesizing and metabolism.
Most people don’t realize that light is an important and necessary fuel just like food. When your bare skin is exposed to near-infrared light, CCO will increase ATP production.
Near-infrared light is also healing and repairing, and helps optimize many other biological functions. (Its absence in artificial light sources like LEDs and fluorescents is what makes these light sources do dangerous to your health.)
We now know that mitochondrial dysfunction is at the heart of most health problems and chronic diseases, including many signs of aging. For these reasons, I strongly recommend using a sauna that offers a full spectrum of infrared radiation, not just far-infrared.
Just keep in mind that most infrared saunas emit dangerous electromagnetic fields (EMFs), so look for one that emits low or no non-native EMFs. You need to look beyond their claim and measure them, as many state they have no EMF but have only addressed magnetic fields and still generate off the chart electric fields. Ultimately, you need to independently validate any claims, as some of the biggest names in the business are doing this.
Far-Infrared Sauna Benefits Chronic Heart Conditions
All of that said, in her lecture, Patrick discusses the benefits of Waon Therapy or far-infrared dry sauna, which has been used in some studies. Far-infrared saunas typically have a max temperature of about 140 degrees F (60 degrees Celsius). Because it’s not as hot, the recommended duration is typically around 45 minutes, and the frequency is daily. Two studies looking at Waon Therapy for heart health include:
•A 2016 study13 that found Waon therapy was helpful for the management of chronic heart failure, improving endurance, heart size and overall status in hospitalized patients with advanced heart failure.
Patients used the far-infrared dry sauna, set at 140 degrees F., for 15 minutes a day for 10 days. Each session was followed by bed rest for 30 minutes, covered with a blanket.
•An earlier study,14 published in 2013, found Waon therapy improved myocardial perfusion in patients with chronically occluded coronary artery-related ischemia. Patients used the far-infrared dry sauna, set at 140 degrees F., for 15 minutes a day for three weeks. Each session was followed by bed rest for 30 minutes, covered with a blanket.
The best results were seen in patients with the highest summed stress score and summed difference score at baseline. The improvements were attributed to improved vascular endothelial function, and according to the authors, Waon therapy “could be a complementary and alternative tool in patients with severe coronary lesions not suitable for coronary intervention.”
How Your Body Responds to Heat
As mentioned, one of the reasons sauna bathing improves health has to do with the fact that it mimics the stress your body undergoes during exercise. While “stress” is typically perceived as a bad thing, intermittent stressors such as exercise and temporary heat stress actually produces beneficial physiological changes.
As explained by Patrick, once your core temperature reaches 102.2 degrees F. (39 degrees C), blood is redistributed away from your core toward the surface of your skin to facilitate sweating. You can easily get an inexpensive ear thermometer to measure and confirm that your temperature is reaching this level.
Your heart rate increases from about 60 beats per minute to about 150, equivalent to moderate intensity exercise, and your cardiac output increases by 60% to 70%. This process is the same whether your core temperature is raised by exercise or sitting still in a sauna.
As demonstrated in a June 2019 study,15,16 spending 25 relaxing minutes in a sauna has the same physical effects as bicycling on a stationary bike with a load of 100 watts for 25 minutes. Heart rate and blood pressure were found to be identical for both activities, with blood pressure and heart rate increasing during the sessions, followed by a drop below baseline levels afterward.
This prompted the researchers to conclude that “The acute heat exposure in the sauna is a burden comparable to moderate physical exercise,” and that “The sustained decrease in blood pressure after heat exposure suggests that the sauna bath will have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.”17
Sauna Bathing Improves Autonomic Nervous System Balance
Recent research18 has also demonstrated that sauna bathing helps modulate your autonomic nervous system, which governs your stress responses.19 To examine the acute effects of a sauna session, the researchers looked at the participants’ heart rate variability (HRV), which is an indicator of your body’s capacity to respond to stress.
Your autonomic nervous system has two branches: the parasympathetic branch (“rest and digest”) and the sympathetic branch (“fight or flight”). HRV is an indicator for how these two branches are functioning. Higher HRV means your body is better equipped to handle stress. As reported in the abstract:
“A total of 93 participants … with cardiovascular risk factors were exposed to a single sauna session (duration: 30 min; temperature: 73 °C; humidity: 10-20%) and data on HRV variables were collected before, during and after sauna.
Time and frequency-domain HRV variables were significantly modified by the single sauna session, with most of HRV variables tending to return near to baseline values after 30 min recovery. Resting HR [heart rate] was lower at the end of recovery (68/min) compared to pre-sauna (77/min).
A sauna session transiently diminished the vagal component, whereas the cooling down period after sauna decreased low frequency power and increased high frequency power in HRV, favorably modulating the autonomic nervous system balance.
This study demonstrates that a session of sauna bathing induces an increase in HR. During the cooling down period from sauna bathing, HRV increased which indicates the dominant role of parasympathetic activity and decreased sympathetic activity of cardiac autonomic nervous system.
Future randomized controlled studies are needed to show if HR and HRV changes underpins the long-term cardiovascular effects induced by regular sauna bathing.”
Sauna Bathing Improves Longevity
Seeing how sauna bathing protects and improves heart and vascular health and lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s, it’s no major surprise to find that it also increases longevity. In fact, it’s precisely what you’d expect.
The 2015 JAMA Internal Medicine study20 mentioned earlier in this article also looked at all-cause mortality, in addition to sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease and fatal CVD.
Sauna bathing four to seven times a week lowered all-cause mortality by 40% after taking into account confounding factors such as age, blood pressure, smoking and other variables, while two to three sessions per week lowered it by 24%.
How Sauna Bathing Increases Longevity
As explained by Patrick, the life extending benefits of sauna bathing are related to the workings of heat shock proteins, which respond to stress (be it heat stress, exercise or fasting) by:
- Protecting protein structures, i.e., maintaining their proper three-dimensional properties inside your cells, which is crucial for their proper function
- Preventing protein aggregation (which is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s)
- Slowing muscular atrophy
Heat shock proteins have also been shown to play an important role in human longevity. Patrick cites a 2010 study21 showing the heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) gene plays a functional role in human survival and life extension.
This makes sense considering Hsp70 is an anti-inflammatory protein involved in cellular maintenance and repair mechanisms. So, whether you have one copy, two copies or are a non-carrier can influence your longevity.
If you are not one of the lucky carriers of this allele, you can boost your survival range by taking regular saunas, as it increases your heat shock proteins regardless. According to Patrick, heat shock proteins stay elevated for up to 48 hours after you’ve finished your sauna.
Another way by which sauna bathing increases longevity (and health span) is by lowering systemic inflammation, which not only plays a significant role in the aging process but also underpins virtually all chronic diseases that ultimately take a toll on life span. Sauna use has also been shown to increase anti-inflammatory biomarkers, such as IL-10.22
In one 2018 study,23 people who reported more frequent sauna use had lower C-reactive protein levels, which is a blood marker for inflammation. Sauna frequency of use and mean C-reactive protein levels were as follows:
- Once a week: 2.41 mmol/L
- Two to three times a week: 2.00 mmol/L
- Four to seven times a week: 1.65 mmol/L
A Sauna Can Be a Great Health Investment
As you can see, sauna bathing can go a long way toward improving your health and increasing your life span. Here, I’ve focused primarily on heart and cardiovascular health, but there are many other health benefits as well, including improved mood, pain reduction, increased metabolism, detoxification, skin rejuvenation, stress reduction and immune support, just to name a few.
To learn more, listen to Patrick’s lecture. You can also find more information in my previous articles, “Sauna Therapy May Reduce Risk of Dementia and Boost Brain Health,” “How to Achieve Superior Detoxification with Near-Infrared Light,” and “Are Saunas the Next Big Performance-Enhancing Drug?”
- 1 Age and Ageing March 2017; 46(2): 245-249
- 2 Reuters January 19, 2017
- 3, 20 JAMA Internal Medicine 2015;175(4):542-548
- 4 Reuters February 23, 2015
- 5 Youtube, Sauna Use as an Exercise Mimetic for Heart and Healthspan
- 6, 7 Youtube, Sauna Use as an Exercise Mimetic for Heart and Healthspan show notes
- 8 Neurology May 29, 2018; 90(22)
- 9 American Journal of Hypertension 2017 Nov 1;30(11):1120-1125
- 10 Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2018 Jan;25(2):130-138
- 11 Dr. Lawrence Wilson, Sauna Therapy
- 12 Dr. Lawrence Wilson, Benefits of Near Infrared Energy
- 13 Circulation Journal 2016;80(4):827-34
- 14 International Journal of Cardiology 2013 Jul 15;167(1):237-43
- 15, 17 Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2019; 44: 218
- 16 Science Daily June 12, 2019
- 18 Complement Ther Med. 2019 Aug;45:190-197
- 19 Harvard Health Publishing March 2011, Updated May 1, 2018
- 21 Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(7):796-801
- 22 Biomed Res Int. 2018 Feb 28;2018:1685368
- 23 European Journal of Epidemiology 2018 Mar;33(3):351-353
Reproduced from original article:
- People who grow up on farms or live in developing countries have lower incidences of food allergies and asthma because they are exposed to normal dirt and germs
- Not all household germs require strong disinfectants: Soap and water is sufficient
- Disinfectants and antibacterial cleaners can cause pathogens to develop resistance to them, doing more harm than good
- Cleaning chemicals bypass the liver and kidneys and directly enter the bloodstream during skin or lung exposure
- Personal care products used excessively will disrupt the balance of natural, “good” bacteria that live on human skin and remove valuable sebum
Have our bodies and environments become too clean? For decades, manufacturers of cleaning products and chemicals have scared people into enacting a household version of “germ warfare.” If you believe the advertising, no kitchen counter, floor or tub is really clean unless all germs have been annihilated with harsh chemicals.
These same companies also exhort people to over-clean themselves with toxic shampoos, soaps and body washes. Yet, daily bathing only became a practice with the relatively recent invention of indoor plumbing; over 100 years ago, many thought wetting the whole body at once instead of taking sponge baths was dangerous and would invite diseases like pneumonia.
The featured documentary, “Washing Away Health: Navigating Cleanliness, Wellness and Resistance in a Microbial World,” from Cleaner World Productions, explores the significant dangers of overcleaning our bodies and environments. These risks range from exposing ourselves to dermatological and respiratory side effects from cleaning products to disrupting our microbiomes and immune systems.
We Are Washing Away Health, Says Revealing Documentary
Excessive cleaning is becoming harmful to ourselves, our homes and our environment. That is the message “Washing Away Health” delivers. In it, experts detail the burgeoning microbial resistance triggered by our obsession with cleanliness, and the surprising health ramifications of being too clean.1
People who grow up on farms or live in developing countries don’t tend to have the food allergies, asthma or other “First World problems” we see in places that are overcleaning, says Laura Kahn, author of “One Health and the Politics of Antimicrobial Resistance,” who is featured in the video.
The reason may be found in the hygiene hypothesis. If a child is raised in an environment saturated in disinfectant soaps and cleansers, they may not able to build up resistance to disease through normal exposure to dirt and germs. This could explain why many allergies and immune-system diseases have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the past few decades — we have become too clean.
Not being exposed to microbes and pathogens can create an excessively clean immune system that can actually begin “attacking itself,” explains Kahn. Sarah Crawford, president of Bio Green Clean,2 a company that makes phosphate-, fume- and fragrance-free cleaning products, agrees, saying, “There is something to be said for ‘healthy germs’.”
Ads Mislead People Into Overcleaning
It is no coincidence that so many people overclean their homes with harmful products — the commercials are everywhere, says Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research at Women’s Voice for the Earth.
“Washing Away Health” shows examples of ads for Lysol and Mr. Clean cleaners that could make anyone think their home is teeming with germs, and that they’re negligent if they don’t use a harsh chemical onslaught. In actuality, soap and water are just as effective, the narrator points out.
Similar “fear marketing” was used to sell cleaning products with antibacterial agents, which the FDA has since banned from consumer soaps.3 Adding antibacterial agents to hand, body, dish and laundry soaps and other personal care products did not make them clean any better, but allowed manufacturers to charge more for “new and improved” items.
They tremendously worsened antibiotic resistance and, since soap is “by nature antibacterial” anyway — a point Kahn makes — antibacterial chemicals are redundant.
Consider triclosan, one of the antibacterial agents added to soap and found in Colgate’s Total toothpaste until recently.4 Triclosan not only contributes to the development of bacterial resistance, but also increases the amount of bisphenol-A (BPA) you absorb when handling thermal receipt paper or other BPA-containing products. According to PubChem, triclosan also has been detected in human breast milk. Additionally, triclosan:5
“… might cause spontaneous abortion; probably through inhibition of estrogen sulfotransferase activity to produce placental thrombosis …
In children, triclosan exposure was associated with allergic sensitization, especially inhalant and seasonal allergens, rather than food allergens. Current rhinitis was associated with the highest levels of triclosan, whereas no association was seen for current asthma.
In the North American bullfrog … exposure to low levels of triclosan thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and can alter the rate of thyroid hormone-mediated postembryonic development.”
According to research published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, triclosan has also been linked to a role in cancer development, possibly due to its estrogen disruption activity.6
Resistance, Pollution, Algae and More
The routine and widespread use of antibiotics on factory farms is seen as the primary driver of antibiotic resistance. Because of the extreme crowding of livestock in these concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), antibiotics are used as a “substitute” for cleaning and hygiene, says Kahn.
“These animals did not evolve to live in such crowded facilities,” she says: In Scandinavian countries where livestock antibiotics have been phased out, antibiotics resistant bacteria have greatly diminished, showing that a reversal of resistance is indeed possible if you attack it at the source.
In the video, Matthew Wargo, professor of microbiology at the University of Vermont, details factors that affect resistance, such as bacterial competition and how bacteria can confer resistance to each other. A microscope demonstration of such transference is shown in the video.
Excessive cleaning also causes other environmental harm. The single use plastic containers of harsh cleaning products significantly add to global plastic pollution says Martin Wolf, director of product sustainability and authenticity at Seventh Generation, adding that Seventh Generation products are made from recycled materials.
The phosphates in cleaning products also contribute to algae blooms — with huge plumes of discolored water that can lead to fish die-offs and municipalities being forced to cut off water to residents, notes Crawford of Bio Green Clean. Toxic algae is an constant problem in Lake Erie, closing beaches, wrecking tourism, endangering pets and contaminating drinking water.7
Cleaning Products More Dangerous Than Many Think
Many don’t give a second thought to cleaning with harsh chemicals, forgetting that when you inhale them or allow them to come into contact with your skin, they will enter your bloodstream directly, bypassing your liver and kidneys, which are part of your natural defense system against toxins.
Also, the more frequently harsh cleaning products are used, the more risks people face, according to medical studies. For example, a 2017 study found that nurses who used disinfectants once a week or more had up to a 32% higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than those who didn’t.8
Even if you not do not personally use harsh cleaning products, the buildings they are used in are also made unsafe, “Washing Away Health” points out. Ventilation systems do not completely remove the chemicals, either, warns Carol Westinghouse, president and founder of Informed Green Solutions.
Crawford says harsh cleaners can even be deadly: She recounts hearing stories of cats that, having walked across floors cleaned with Swiffer WetJet, died after licking their paws. Fragrance added to cleaning products, even when natural, can also be harmful, says Wolf.
Less Washing Can Bring Back Balance
Overtreating bacteria, viruses and even fungi results in disruption of natural environments and a paradoxical resistance to the very cleaning products supposed to eradicate them, according to the experts in “Washing Away Health.”
A similar phenomenon occurs with personal care items. The natural, beneficial bacteria that live on human skin and the sebum on our hair are also disrupted by excessive cleansing. Our microbiomes and immune systems are also compromised by overcleansing.
While manufacturers of personal care products have convinced people they will smell awful or will be offensive without the use of their harsh products, the opposite is actually true. It’s primarily overcleansing that causes odor-causing bacteria to overgrow, as it disrupts your body’s natural systems of balance.
All of that said, there are instances in which germ vigilance is required. Cuts, for example, need to be properly cleaned, and disinfecting food preparation areas is a good idea. Medical facilities also need to be vigilant about cleanliness and disinfection. In our day-to-day lives, however, we should not go overboard.
Solutions From ‘Washing Away Health’
There are several encouraging trends highlighted in “Washing Away Health” that imply the problem of “too much cleanliness” is being addressed. Michelle Thompson, an industrial hygienist at the Vermont Department of Health, says the Envision Program was created in Vermont in 2000 to create healthier, safer schools with fewer asthma triggers. In 2012, Act 125, a green cleaning law, was passed in Vermont.
Westinghouse speculates that steam cleaning will begin to replace harsh chemical cleaners. Already, she says, there are portable steam cleaners that can be used commercially or residentially. Kahn thinks there is great promise in the use of viruses called bacteriophages to clean. As explained by the Leibniz Institute, phages:9
“… exclusively attack bacteria and lyse them (‘bacteria eaters’). Phages cannot reproduce alone by themselves, they require the bacterial cell as a host to reproduce within the host …
After adsorption to the bacterial surface, the phage injects its nucleic acid into the bacterium that will now be forced to produce a new phage generation by using the bacterial enzyme equipment.
One single bacterial cell produces such an enormous number of new phages that the pressure forces the bacterium to burst. The phages will immediately kill other bacteria with a surface matching with the phage.”
To prevent further antibiotic resistance, all the experts featured in “Washing Away Health” stress the importance of not demanding antibiotics from a doctor or using antibiotics for nonbacterial infections. They also urge you to vote with your wallet. Do not buy risky cleaning products that overclean and wash away health.
Reproduced from original article:
November 24, 2019
Video not available on this site. To view, please go to the original article above.
Or download video transcript
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing air or oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The pressure allows your body to absorb a higher percentage of oxygen
- There’s a wide range of conditions for which HBOT can be beneficial, including autoimmune conditions, neurological conditions, musculoskeletal injuries, mitochondrial dysfunction-driven conditions, ailments involving damaged microcirculation, chronic infections, subacute infections and cancer co-management
- Hyperbaric oxygen improves mitochondrial function, helps with detoxification, inhibits and controls inflammation and optimizes your body’s energy production and healing capacity
- HBOT also activates stem cell production, and can help optimize results when doing stem cell therapy
- While HBOT can speed healing of any inflammatory condition, in the U.S., there are only 14 conditions for which insurance will pay, one of which is diabetic neuropathy, and typically only after other conventional treatments have failed. There are over 100 internationally recognized indications for hyperbaric use
In this interview, Dr. Jason Sonners discusses hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which is a tremendously beneficial and widely underutilized therapy. Sonners, a chiropractor, also has a degree in applied kinesiology,1 and has worked with HBOT for over 12 years.
Even if you’re not trying to treat a specific condition and are generally healthy, HBOT can have significant benefits for longevity.
“On its most basic premise, hyperbaric oxygen [therapy] is literally the breathing of either air or oxygen under pressure. You’re inside some type of pressurized device or hyperbaric chamber. Due to the pressure, you’re exposing the body to a higher percentage of oxygen.
You could also increase that oxygen by piping oxygen into the chambers. As a result of that environment, you’re increasing the body’s capacity to absorb more oxygen than what you and I can get here at 1 atmosphere (atm),” Sonners explains.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Basics
Most healthy individuals have somewhere between 96% and 98% oxygen in their hemoglobin, which means your capacity to increase your oxygen level is between 2% and 4%, were you to breathe medical-grade oxygen, for example. That’s it; there’s no way to raise your oxygen level beyond that. The exception is if your body is under pressure.
“Two main laws govern how that works,” Sonners says. “Boyle’s Law and Henry’s Law. Basically, as you take a gas and exert pressure on it, you make the size of that gas take up less space. As a result of that pressure, you can then dissolve that gas into a liquid.
An easy example is a can of seltzer. They’re using carbon dioxide and water. But basically, you can pressurize that can, so you can put carbon dioxide into that can. As a result of that pressurization, you can dissolve molecules of carbon dioxide into the water.
In the hyperbaric version of that, we’re using oxygen, and the can is the chamber. But as a result of dumping excess oxygen inside that chamber, you can dissolve that into the liquid of your body … directly into the tissue and the plasma of your blood.
Normally your blood does not carry oxygen. We rely wholly on red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity. But inside the chamber, you could literally bypass the red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity altogether, and you can absorb oxygen directly into the plasma and tissue of the body.”
Your Body Needs All the Oxygen It Can Get
Sonners, who has a lot of experience with functional medicine and nutrition, views oxygen primarily as a nutrient.
“We need about 100% of the oxygen that we’re capable of carrying every minute of every day just to perform normal functions,” he says, “so there’s very little room for creating an excess of oxygen for the sake of healing or helping some of the conditions that we’ll talk about later on …
In nutrition, there’s deficiency, which has consequences. There’s optimum range, which is allowing us to do what we need to do every day. And then there are periods where we need a surplus of that nutrient to help us deal with some issue that we’re having in our health or in our life.
I look at oxygen the same way. If you’re not getting enough oxygen, whether that’s globally because of a lung or heart issue or if that’s locally because of a trauma … or some type of injury or inflammation, you could have an area of your body that has oxygen deficiency. We call that hypoxia.
There’s an optimum range of oxygen, which for us is virtually almost 100% of our oxygen-carrying capacity, every minute of every day. And then periodically, we might choose that we want to create a surplus of oxygen because oxygen … helps us detoxify, it controls inflammation, it runs our energy production and helps us to heal …
Once you expose the body to increased levels of oxygen … the whole oxidative phosphorylation [process], the whole ATP and energy production system of our body increases its capacity to produce ATP and to produce energy …
Sometimes, we might need more than the optimum range to help us get over some sort of health issue, or … from a quality of life, longevity, regenerative medicine-type standpoint …”
Conditions That Can Benefit From HBOT
Considering the importance of oxygen, there’s a long list of conditions for which HBOT is recommended. Insurance will pay for some, but not anywhere near all of them.
While HBOT can be used to help speed healing of any inflammatory condition, in the U.S., there are only 14 conditions for which insurance will pay, whereas there are up to 100 approved indications for HBOT internationally.
“In the States, we reserve it for pretty tough cases: really bad infections like gangrene, osteomyelitis, radiation burns … diabetic neuropathy … chronic wounds that are not healing with traditional attempts at antibiotics and things like that,” Sonners says.
From my perspective, it’s medically reprehensible and inexcusable for a doctor to not treat patients with diabetic neuropathy, infections in the distal extremities or peripheral vascular disease with HBOT, as it will in most cases prevent the need for amputation.
That the U.S. limits the use of HBOT to a last resort for only a few hard-to-treat conditions is truly unfortunate, as there’s a wide range of other conditions for which HBOT can be beneficial. This includes:
|All autoimmune conditions|
|Neurological conditions, including concussion, traumatic brain injury, dementia and post-stroke|
|Musculoskeletal injuries, including broken bones, disk herniations, and torn muscles and tendons|
|Any condition involving mitochondrial dysfunction (which includes most chronic and degenerative diseases)|
|Any condition involving damaged microcirculation or that can benefit from capillary growth|
|Chronic infections such as Lyme disease, and subacute infections that cause damage over time — As noted by Sonners, “When you go into these pressurized hyperbaric chambers and you’re breathing and absorbing these higher levels of oxygen, they literally act as a natural antibiotic.”
The hyperbaric oxygen kills anaerobic bacteria and helps break down the biofilm that many anaerobic bacteria produce to protect themselves. At the same time, it’s boosting your immune system through increased neutrophil-macrophage stimulation and by feeding healthy bacteria.
Hyperbaric oxygen also combats viral and fungal infections, in part by stimulating neutrophil and macrophage activation. “You literally stimulate an increased production of white blood cells,” Sonners says, “and that’s what your body uses to fight infections”
|Cancer co-management — As noted by Sonners, researchers are looking at HBOT in cancer treatments in a number of different ways. For example, doing it may allow you to use less radiation or chemo and still get the same outcome. Or, it may allow the patient to tolerate higher amounts of radiation by speeding the healing between sessions. A third avenue of investigation is the use of HBOT in isolation.
HBOT Improves Mitochondrial Function
“If the idea is that we need to control inflammation, if we need to improve the rate of healing, if we need to improve mitochondrial function — all of these are going to be very solid indications of people who would respond very positively to hyperbaric treatment,” Sonners says.
One of the reasons I’m fascinated by HBOT is because of its ability to improve mitochondrial function. As noted by Sonners, longer term hyperbaric exposures will result in larger mitochondria and a greater density of mitochondria.
“Just to give you an idea, [after] 20 or 40 hours of exposure, what you’re going to end up getting [are] more efficient, bigger mitochondria, and you’re going to get a lot more of them,” he says.
“Even if you’re stuck at like 80% efficiency, if you had twice as many mitochondria, producing 80% efficiency, you’re still going to get a much better output for the patient. I think the capacity there for improving these chronic illnesses is really tremendous.”
HBOT Boosts Stem Cell Production
HBOT also activates stem cell production. Conventional stem cell therapy can cost $10,000 to $20,000 and isn’t covered by insurance. HBOT costs far less, may be covered by insurance (depending on your condition), is completely safe and has a whole host of other beneficial effects as well.
Even if you decide to get stem cell therapy, using HBOT before and after can significantly improve your end results, as the hyperbaric oxygen will help optimize your internal environment to make it more conducive to the newly injected stem cells.
Sonners suggests 10 to 20 hours of HBOT before your stem cell treatment, as that’s when your body will start upregulating its own stem cells. If you’re extracting the stem cells from your own body, you will now also have much higher amounts. After the stem cell injection, Sonners suggests doing 20 to 40 hours of HBOT to make sure the new stem cells will thrive.
Difference Between HBOT and EWOT
On a side note, there’s a similar therapy that many people confuse with HBOT. EWOT is an acronym for “exercise with oxygen therapy,” which usually involves using an oxygen concentrator and a large oxygen-filled bag that you then breathe from while exercising.
While EWOT certainly has its benefits, it’s not interchangeable with HBOT. They’re really very distinct therapies and accomplish different things. For starters, while EWOT is an active process, hyperbaric oxygen is a passive process.
With hyperbaric oxygen, you’re typically sitting or lying down and simply breathing normally. “Especially in some patient populations, you can’t even express the level of exercise you would need to in order to gain some of those benefits. That’s one difference,” Sonners says.
The primary difference, however, is that with EWOT, you’re basically increasing demand through exercise, and then you’re increasing supply through the oxygen concentrator. However, you’re still relying on your red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity.
“If you have an issue that is trauma-related — chronic inflammation, damage to the microcirculation — there’s nothing about that excess oxygen that you’re creating through supply and demand that’s ultimately ever going to change that. So long as you are relying on red blood cells carrying, you will not get oxygen to the damaged site.
The only way you’re going to change that environmental issue, and especially the microcirculation … [and stem cells, is through] exposures to oxygen [under] pressure. This is where oxygen will be absorbed directly into the plasma and tissues along the hypoxic tissue gain access to the oxygen.
What we’re finding is that it’s not just the level of oxygen absorption. Some of our epigenome is pressure-sensitive. Pressure alone increases the response to oxygen and stimulates some of these healing responses.
The biggest difference is that one is active and one is passive. One is still relying on red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity; one is basically bypassing red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity.
To some degree, they’re both increasing oxygen, but I don’t think you could really compare it. I mean hyperbaric is definitely increasing oxygen capacity to a degree that is significantly higher than anything else that exists.”
So, to recap, your red blood cells (if you are healthy) are typically already saturated with oxygen at 98% to 99%, and breathing pure oxygen at normal pressures will not significantly change that. But if you breathe oxygen under pressure, it will diffuse into your cellular fluids and provide a greater delivery of oxygen to your tissues, especially if they have compromised microcirculation.
Soft Versus Hard Shell Chambers
There are two primary types of HBOT chambers: hard shell and soft shell. Hard-shell versions are available in two types — the kind you find in hospitals and the kind you typically find in private clinics or can purchase for home use.
•Hard shell 100% oxygen hospital chambers are capable of the highest pressures, which in some cases can be important, especially in cases of nonhealing wounds. In this kind of chamber, the pressurization is done with 100% oxygen. While oxygen is not really flammable, it’s an accelerant, so you have to be very careful not to create sparks. You’re wearing cotton scrubs and you can’t bring anything inside the chamber.
•Hard chambers are the next step down. Instead of filling the whole hard chamber with oxygen, air is used to create pressure, and then oxygen is being piped in separately for you to breathe.
In this type of chamber, you can wear whatever clothing you want as you don’t have the same safety concerns. You can even bring certain electronics into the chamber. In many situations, this is an ideal choice, as the safety is higher while the effectiveness of the treatment is identical, especially for most internal issues. These types of chambers are often found in private clinics.
•Soft chambers are limited in terms of the pressure you can achieve. “In the U.S., you’re only allowed to go to 1.3 atmospheres (ATA), which is about a relative 9 feet underwater. It’s considered mild HBOT. It’s about 4 to 4.25 pounds of force per square inch (psi),” Sonners says.
Still, it will allow you to absorb quite a bit more oxygen than you could normally, so it still offers very meaningful benefits. You may need to use it more frequently, and for longer duration though.
While treatments involving hard shell chambers with 100% oxygen are quite costly, typically running around $2,000 per treatment (which may or may not be covered by insurance), hard and soft chambers found in private clinics are much more affordable, typically ranging between $90 to $180 per session. While this may still sound like a lot, it could well turn out to be one of your less expensive options in the long run.
“Clinically, we used to do our typical protocols. When people weren’t responding the way we expected them to, we would introduce hyperbaric oxygen.
At this point, it’s become literally one of the first things that we do, because if we do [HBOT] early on, so many of the other therapies that we used to have to do, we don’t need to do anymore,” Sonners says.
HBOT Treatment Suggestions
Typically, you’d want to start out getting about 10 hours of treatment at a local facility to see if and how your condition responds. If you’re trying to address trauma, an injury or a condition that has a beginning and end, then whatever benefits you get from the therapy, you will keep as you heal.
Progressive and degenerative conditions, on the other hand, and/or if you’re using it for longevity purposes, treatment will need to be ongoing for long periods of time. This is a case in which you may want to consider buying your own chamber.
“Somewhere between 10 and 20 hours, you kind of know if it’s a good fit for you. From that point, with guidance of the practitioner, you should be able to figure out a baseline of what your protocol should look like,” Sonners says. “Ultimately, if you’re going to be using this thing for years and years, then you’re better off, in most cases, just to have your own.”
Unfortunately, it can be tricky finding a local HBOT facility. Usually, online search results tend to focus on hospitals, and hospitals will not provide you with HBOT unless you have one of the 14 approved indications.
“To find a center, you’re just going to be looking up hyperbaric oxygen [centers]. You’re going to be looking in the private sector, because those are the only people outside the hospital who are going to treat these other indications,” Sonners says.
One alternative is to contact either the International Hyperbaric Association2 (IHA) or Hyperbaric Medical International3 (HMI). These are the two organizations focused on educating the public on the use of HBOT in the U.S., especially for indications that aren’t FDA-approved.
“They have a tremendous amount of resources,” Sonners says. “They also probably help direct people … to centers that might be more local … That’s probably the best. Otherwise, you’d be looking at different manufacturers that produce chambers and how to get those into your home.”
If you’re in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you can visit one of Sonner’s clinics — New Jersey HBOT Center, or HBOT PA. You can also learn more on HBOTusa.com, which is Sonner’s primary education website. There you can find a list of treated conditions, research, the benefits of HBOT in athletics, testimonials and much more. Sonners has also written a book, “Under Pressure: How One Unexpected Tool Is Revolutionizing Health,” which you can preorder here.
© 7th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
Written by Brenton Wight – LeanMachine, Health Researcher.
Health Facts on Vitamin D3 – the Natural Cure for all disease!
Why we need Vitamin D3
First, to help absorb calcium and other minerals to build strong bones with the help of Vitamin K2 that keeps calcium in bones instead of in blood where calcium plaques form.
Second, to build the immune system, in conjunction with gut bacteria – the other half of the immune system story.
Depending on which study we believe, optimal vitamin D3 can prevent between 50% and 90% of all cancers, as well as Multiple Sclerosis, and reduce the intensity or even cure almost every other disease.
If a drug company developed something that would do this, it would make headlines around the world and win a Nobel prize, and many billions of dollars would be saved in the health care budgets of countries everywhere.
If the entire population had optimal Vitamin D3 combined with a healthy diet, countless lives would be saved from cancer, many illnesses would disappear, most artificial replacements of hips and knees would not be required, thousands of people clogging up the nursing homes in their wheelchairs would be out playing tennis and leading active, productive lives.
Have I convinced you yet that just a few dollars for a year’s supply of super-strength 5000 IU Vitamin D3 would be a good investment in your future?
If not, then perhaps you should go and reserve that spot in the nursing home, and pick out the burial plot while you’re at it!
Benefits of Vitamin D3
Studies show that Vitamin D3 has cancer inhibiting properties, especially breast, prostate, pancreas, colon, skin cancer and leukaemia.
While millions are spent trying to find a cure for cancer, Vitamin D3 could be used to prevent cancer in the first place, at a cost equivalent to a drop in the ocean.
Vitamin D3 deficiencies can cause the following:
Colds and flu:
Vitamin D3 helps prevent or reduce severity of colds, flu, and almost every other infection. LeanMachine is living proof. After 10 years of taking Vitamin D3, no colds, no flu, no infections of any kind, not even a headache!
When we look at studies funded by drug companies who manufacture vaccinations, which are always biased in favour of the flu shot, the NNT (Number Needed to Treat) for the flu vaccine is 40, meaning that to protect one person from getting the flu, 40 people must receive the vaccination. Compare this with Vitamin D3, where the NNT is 33 in the average population, and in those people with D3 deficiency, the NNT drops to 4. In other words, for the average person, D3 is significantly better than the flu shot, and for those with low Vitamin D3, D3 supplements work 10 time better than the flu shot!
Most infections are naturally destroyed by our own immune system, mainly the T-cells, but T-cells need Vitamin D3 to operate correctly.
Studies funded privately, without the influence of the drug companies, have foud the flu shot to be even less effective, with those over the age of 65, or under the age of 2, or those on statin medications, all receiving NO statistically discernible benefit from the flu shot, and everyone else receiving a very marginal benefit such as a reduction in duration of illness of about 1 day.
On the downside, those taking the flu shot every year received less benefit (less protection), and actually INCREASED risk of coming down with a different strain of the flu!
More on vaccinations under the heading below.
Osteoarthritis (OA)is the most common disease in people over age 50, more common than the common cold, and especially in women.
OA is directly linked to Vitamin D3 deficiency, and higher Vitamin D3 levels lower the risk.
Studies show that hip fractures in high risk population groups can be reduced by up to 40% by supplementing with Vitamin D3.
Partly because bones are stronger, and partly because people with good Vitamin D3 levels have much better balance and stronger muscles, so don’t fall over as much.
RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and MS (Multiple Sclerosis) appear to have the same link.
Most Australians (two thirds) and others in Western society are overweight or obese.
Two thirds of people in Western society are also deficient in Vitamin D3, and this is no coincidence. There is a direct link between Vitamin D3 deficiency and obesity.
On average, the more Vitamin D3 deficient a person is, the more obese they are.
Healthy levels of Vitamin D3 are seen mainly in lean, healthy people.
Chronic pain from any source can be reduced with Vitamin D3, even a simple headache, migraine, back pain, fibromyalgia, etc.
Many people with osteoporosis have chronic pain, typically lower back pain, often a sign of D3 deficiency.
Those people usually exercise less because of the pain, and insufficient exercise causes depression, worsens their osteoporosis, increases obesity, and their condition only gets worse.
Before 2010, LeanMachine suffered from headaches back pain and other pain, but no more. If I hit my thumb with a hammer, of course it hurts, and if I strain my back or another muscle, I feel stiffness that goes away in a day or two. But no other pain, no painkillers required, and in fact no painkillers of any kind kept in the house.
Cancer is a devastating condition, but high levels of Vitamin D3 offer up to 80% or more protection, especially childhood cancers, breast, prostate, pancreas, skin and colon cancer.
A recent study confirmed that women with high levels of Vitamin D3 had about 85% reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those with the lowest levels of Vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 is critical to the body’s production of GcMAF, a cancer-fighting protein that inhibits cancer metastasis, and is capable of reversing the devastating effects of cancer on the body. Vitamin D3 supports GcMAF synthesis, helping to shut down pro-cancer receptors and enzymes that encourage metastasis.
DBP-maf(Vitamin D3 binding protein-macrophage activating factor) is another protein reducing cancerous activity, which directly stimulates the immune response by suppressing angiogenesis (blood vessel growth) required for cancer cell migration and tumor growth. DBP-maf requires Vitamin D3 for transport in the bloodstream.
There are links between low levels of Vitamin D3 and depression.
For depression sufferers, LeanMachine recommends extra Vitamin D3 from sunlight because getting outside in the sun always lifts our mood. If we cannot get out in the sun, supplementation is a must.
Vitamin D3 deficiency weakens our bones, but when the three tiny bones (hammer, anvil and stirrup) in the ear become weak and spongy, attenuation of sound transmission results in hearing loss.
Recent studies show that children with allergies have a high chance of being deficient in Vitamin D3, and those with the worst allergies, are over 80% likely to be deficient in vitamin D3.
The number one killer of Western society people is still cardiac disease.
Vitamin D3 deficiencies bring on high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
Number two is cancer, so we can alleviate both killers easily by eating a healthy diet and getting enough Vitamin D3 from sunlight and/or supplements.
Type 1 diabetes
Pregnant women who are deficient in Vitamin D3 are far more likely to produce offspring with Type 1 diabetes.
Any child deprived of sunlight in the first few years of life also has a far higher risk of type 1 Diabetes.
How do we get Vitamin D3 ?
We get Vitamin D3 from the sun, but we need the basic building-blocks in the body first.
The normal process of Vitamin D3 metabolism can be stopped by the deficiency of one single nutrient, so a healthy, nutrient-rich diet is essential.
In particular, we need cholesterol, which has been demonised for decades. More on this later.
Vitamin K2 – No Bones without it
Some people say we need Calcium for strong bones, but we get plenty of calcium from the diet, and we can absorb calcium with no problems as long as we have enough Vitamin D3.
No vitamin D3 means no calcium absorption, so adding more calcium to the diet without vitamin D3 means potential for calcium to form as plaque in our arteries, kidneys or other places where it will only damage the body.
Vitamin K2, which comes from animal products such as chicken, cheese, butter, eggs, etc, can help build bones by directing calcium to bones and teeth where it belongs, and helps keep our arteries, kidneys and other organs free from calcium.
The only vegetable source of Vitamin K2 is Natto (fermented soy), which explains why Japanese post-menopausal women have much stronger bones than Western women, as Natto is part of the traditional Japanese diet.
Vitamin K2 is not to be confused with Vitamin K (or K1), which is required for effective blood clotting, but not as effective as Vitamin K2 for bones, but still desirable in the diet.
K1 comes from intestinal bacteria as well as from green leafy vegetables like kale, spring onions, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, basil, asparagus, also prunes.
For vegetarians or vegans, supplementation of Vitamin K2 is essential as well as D3 for healthy bones. Vitamin D3 metabolism is complex, where each essential and critical nutrient provides the path to the next step, and one missing link in the chain will stop the entire process.
So it is no surprise that a third of our population is deficient in Vitamin D3, and around 90% are less than optimal. Unfortunately, these are the people who are at the highest risk of cancer.
Importance of Diet
Vitamin D3 cannot form without basic nutrients for the multi-stage process and this explains why so many people are deficient.
D3 – A Vitamin or a Hormone?
The answer is both.
It is a hormone (a chemical messenger) because it controls cells, organs, muscle and bone in everyday function, and because the body can manufacture it with sunlight exposure on skin.
It is a vitamin because it binds calcium so we can absorb it, as we humans cannot digest calcium without Vitamin D3, which maintains calcium and phosphate concentrations in the blood, providing minerals for bones, nerves, muscles, immune function, and lowers inflammation.
Many cell functions are controlled in part by vitamin D3, aiding in weight loss, blood glucose regulation, metabolism, and essential fatty acids (Omega-3) processing.
There is no point taking calcium or omega-3 foods or supplements without a good supply of Vitamin D3.
Almost every cell in the body has Vitamin D3 receptors, so Vitamin D3 is a crucial nutrient.
Vitamin D, D2 or D3?
The terms Vitamin D and vitamin D3 are used interchangeably here. D3 is the correct and natural Vitamin D.
D3 exists in the body as the storage form 25(OH) and the active form 1,25 2(OH). Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is an artificial version of Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), or vitamin D coming from some foods.
D2 has very low affinity for DBP (vitamin D binding protein) so it cannot be easily stored and should never be used.
Firstly, D2 has nowhere near the healthy properties of D3 (cholecalciferol), and secondly, D2 tends to block absorption of the real D3.
Many foods come “fortified with vitamin D” but this is invariably an artificial D2 with poor benefits.
Some early medical studies on vitamin D used inferior synthetic D2 which is toxic at much lower doses, and unfairly discredited the real D3 which was not even being used in the studies.
How is Vitamin D3 made?
We get vitamin D3 from sunlight, food or supplements.
D3 from sunlight
Most people know we get Vitamin D3 from sunlight, but there is a multi-stage process involved.
Production starts in the liver, which makes 7-dehydrocholesterol, which then migrates to the skin to be altered by UVB (ultra-violet light in the B range) to become pre-vitamin D3.
This is carried back to the liver to be mediated by an enzyme (25-hydroxylase) to become 25-hydroxyvitamin D, where a hydroxy (OH) molecule is added to build the storage form 25(OH).
This is then transported to the kidneys to be mediated by yet another enzyme (1-alpha-hydroxylase) to finally become calcitriol, where a second hydroxy (OH) is added. This is the active form of vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol or 1,25 dihydroxyvitaminD3 or the active form 1,25 2(OH). Dihydroxy means that the D3 molecule has two OH molecules added, one from the liver and a second from the kidneys.
Vitamin D3 is carried in the blood by DBP (vitamin D-binding protein).
This entire process takes around 15 days, so if we shower every day, we “wash off” most of the pre-vitamin D, so morning showers are best, allowing the pre-vitamin D to start the migration back to the liver before the next shower.
And a day at the beach won’t help our vitamin D3 if we go for a swim, and worse if we get sunburnt!
Statins rob our Vitamin D3
As we age, we lose the ability to synthesise vitamin D from sunlight, and those on statin medication (half the aged population) cannot make 7-dehydrocholesterol, co-enzyme Q10, Cholesterol Sulfate and other important requirements for the body, because when statins slow the liver production of cholesterol, all of the above are affected.
No one should ever take a statin drug (Lipitor, Crestor, Simvastatin and others) other than exceptional circumstances, as they generally do much more harm than good.
Independent studies show that while some deaths from heart disease are reduced, deaths from ALL OTHER CAUSES is INCREASED by statin medication! Taking statins, we will generally not live one day longer, and will have a poorer quality of life.
Also as we age, we generate less stomach acid, losing the ability to take in B12, Methyl Folate (never Folic Acid!), Vitamin K2 and other nutrients that vitamin D requires to do it’s job. If we get reflux or heartburn, doctors normally prescribe Nexium or antacids, which may relieve symptoms short-term, but only make the problem worse. The best way to cure heartburn is to eat less, and eat an alkaline-forming diet, but that is another story in my Alkaline Diet article.
Those who dress fully covered for cultural reasons or those with dark skin always need more vitamin D.
Annual blood tests for vitamin D3 are advisable if taken at very high doses as excess levels can become toxic.
For adults, toxic levels for vitamin D3 are generally not seen unless we take in some 40,000 IU daily for many weeks.
Vitamin A can also be toxic in high levels, but if A and D are taken together, the toxic levels are some 5 times higher for both A and D, giving a huge margin of safety, so old “toxic levels” should really be called “imbalance levels”.
Another factor is Vitamin K2, discussed later.
Other things that Steal our Vitamin D3
Being overweight – the more overweight we are, the less bioavailable Vitamin D3 becomes. But if we take Vitamin D3 supplements and/or get more sunshine, this will assist our weight-loss efforts!
Being old – as we age, our ability to absorb D3 from sunlight and from food reduces, so supplementation becomes more essential.
BPA (Bisphenol A) – BPA (Bisphenol-A) and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals reduce our Vitamin D3 levels. Avoid foods in plastic or cans and use glass containers.
Liver problems – a poor liver produces less bile, which reduces absorption of Vitamin D3. Look after the liver – avoid excess alcohol and eat a healthy diet of quality fats, few carbohydrates, and low to moderate protein.
Kidney problems – as kidney disease gets worse, so do Vitamin D3 levels. Look after kidneys by drinking plenty of clean water and eating a healthy diet
Gut bacteria – these 100 trillion organisms are a major component of our immune system, and also aid in absorption and processing of minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin D3. People with celiac disease, chronic pancreatitis, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or Crohn’s disease, or those taking antibiotics, will all have reduced D3, so essential supplements are Vitamin D3 and probiotics.
Slip, Slop, Slap in the face campaign – this disastrous campaign has been running for over 30 years in Australia, costing the taxpayer many millions of dollars, and has caused many more millions in extra health care, more disease, and many more lives lost.
True, reduced sunlight has reduced the number of mostly harmless skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma which are easily treated, and rarely turn into something more serious (less than 1% of cases).
But the number of MELANOMA cancers – the real, deadly kind, has DOUBLED, but this fact has been hidden by the Australian Cancer Council who are behind the Slip, Slop, Slap campaign! The primary reason, of course, is lack of Vitamin D3 due to reduced sunlight, reducing immunity.
Melanomas also appear on the soles of feet, in armpits and other places where sunlight is very limited, but so-called “specialists” still blame the sun!
The science cannot be denied. The closer one lives to the Equator, the less chance of any type of cancer, a proven fact.
Too much sunlight?
If we get D3 from sunlight, then surely if we spend all day in the sun, like construction workers and other outdoor activities, we should get plenty?
Wrong. After we spend around 10 to 20 minutes in the sun in the middle of the day (90 minutes for dark-skinned people), we reach a point where the body will no longer synthesise any more vitamin D3.
This is the way the body is designed to prevent toxic levels from building up, and also the reason why we get a tan – to prevent too much vitamin D3 from the sun.
If our skin starts to get the slightest shade of pink, it is time to cover up or seek some shade, as more sun will only then cause damage, with no extra vitamin D3 past that point.
And if we get a healthy dose of sunlight one day, we can happily work inside the next day, as it may take 2 days to build new skin resources for more absorption.
The Morning Myth
The cancer society and other “health” organisations all say the we should avoid the sun in the middle of the day, and only go out in the morning or the evening when the sun is low in the sky. Wrong again!
This is actually the complete reverse of the truth!
The sun produces ultra-violet rays in three bandwidths, named UV-A, UV-B and UV-C, each with different properties.
We get UV-A from all sunlight, no matter what time of day, and it passes through cloud and glass, and this kind travels deeper into the skin, causes skin damage and ZERO vitamin D production.
We can sit by a window or in a car with windows up, on a hot sunny day and never get any vitamin D.
We can be outside all day when there is cloud cover, but we will never get any vitamin D.
All we get from UV-A is skin damage.
We get UV-B ONLY from a clear blue sky, and ONLY when the sun is HIGH in the sky. This is the “good” sunlight, as this is the ONLY kind that gives us vitamin D.
When the sun is lower in the sky, most UV-B is absorbed in the atmosphere leaving little or none for our benefit.
We need 10 minutes a day (fair-skinned) to 20 minutes a day (tanned) with the sun high in the sky, no clouds, and no glass. This can give us all of the vitamin D we need, but for many, this is impossible.
For those living a long way from the equator, or out of the tropic areas in winter, those working shifts or indoors, those who cover their entire bodies for religious reasons, or slap on sunscreen, those who have very dark skin, those on statin medication, those on a poor diet, those confined to hospitals or nursing homes and others who mistakenly believe the sun is evil, will never get enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, meaning that if we get plenty one day and miss the sun for a few days, we will still be able to call on our vitamin D reserves stored in fat cells.
Of course, UV-B will still damage our skin if we stay out in the sun too long.
UV-C rarely gets to Earth as it is almost completely absorbed in the atmosphere, so is of little concern unless you are an astronaut.
Why we NEED sunlight, more than just for Vitamin D3
The human body is designed to thrive in sunlight, and it is not only the Vitamin D3 benefit.
A 20-year study of over 29,000 people found that those avoiding sun exposure had double the death rate from all causes!
This study did not measure D3 levels, but results from other D3 studies show that the high death rate from insufficient sun exposure can not be accounted for only by low Vitamin D3.
We also get Cholesterol Sulfate from sunlight on the skin.
Cholesterol sulfate protects red blood cells from breaking up. Without enough cholesterol sulfate, we get a condition called hemolysis, where the red blood cells die prematurely, spilling their contents into the blood.
Without sulfur, and without the sun, we cannot make cholesterol sulfate, a molecule which is both fat-soluble and water soluble, which is essential for the body to distribute cholesterol and sulfur throughout the body.
All artery walls have an endothelial lining, and these endothelial cells cannot work correctly when depleted in sulfate. They cannot control what gets into and out of cells, which promotes cardiovascular plaque.
Cholesterol Sulfate, in conjunction with it’s nitric sister, eNOS, determines how thick or thin or blood becomes. Sulfate makes it thicker, nitric makes it thinner, and this automatic regulatory system works very well as long as we have supplies of both, for which we need sunlight.
Interestingly, one thing that messes up these molecules is glyphosate (“Roundup” and other weedkiller trade names) so this is a good reason to avoid all GM (Genetically Modified) foods, which are all heavily sprayed with glyphosate.
Sulfur is incredibly important for health. Cholesterol sulfate protects against bacterial and virus infections and strengthens the immune system.
Cholesterol sulfate is essential for babies. Women normally have about 1.5 units of cholesterol sulfate in the blood, but in pregnancy, levels rise in the villi of the placenta to around 24 units!
Foods high in sulfur include eggs, beef, garlic, onions, sprouts, asparagus, kale, coconut oil, olive oil, but only where they are grown or raised in sulfur-rich soil (think organic).
Vitamin D sulfate is also made from sunlight, and is both water and fat soluble, so it can go anywhere in the body, distinct from the regular fat-soluble Vitamin D3 I have been talking about. Same with cholesterol sulfate. Not only is it both water and fat soluble, it can travel through the body on it’s own, where many other substances need to be “carried” by cholesterol wherever they need to go.
If we want healthy blood, we MUST have sunlight!
Humans make several other important peptide and hormone “photoproducts” when skin is exposed to UVB sunlight:
- β-Endorphins are natural opiates that induce relaxation and increase pain tolerance
- Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptides are vasodilators (expand blood vessels) that protect us from hypertension (blood pressure), vascular inflammation, and oxidative stress
- Substance P is a neuropeptide that increases blood flow and also regulates immune system response to acute stressors
- Adrenocorticotropic Hormone is a polypeptide hormone, controlling cortisol (stress hormone) release by the adrenal glands, regulating immune system and inflammation
- Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone is a polypeptide hormone, reducing appetite, increasing libido, and increasing skin pigmentation
Sunlight contains a beneficial EMF (electromagnetic frequency) that is essential for health.
40% of sunlight is infrared, and the red and near-infrared frequencies interact with CCO (Cytochrome C Oxidase). CCO is a protein in the inner mitochondrial membrane, also part of the electron transport chain. CCO is a chromophore (a molecule that attracts and absorbs light), so sunlight improves ATP (the generation of energy). The optimal wavelengths for CCO are red at 630 nm to 660 nm (nanometers) and near-infrared at 810 nm to 850 nm.
LeanMachine gets sun exposure as often as possible. Others afraid of the sun may consider photobiomodulation therapy (use of near-infrared light treatment).
UVA exposure is generally considered harmful, as this is the most damaging kind of exposure for skin with no ability to generate Vitamin D, however there are benefits such as releasing NO (Nitric Oxide), discussed above. An important cellular signaling molecule that dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.
This is closely tied to another molecule, eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase) which regulates the “thickness” of blood. When blood becomes too thick, eNOS makes more nitric oxide which expands blood vessels and thins the blood. When blood is too thin, eNOS makes more sulfate. Sulfate is essential for the endothelial lining of all blood vessel walls. If we are low in sulfate, the wall can start breaking down and clots start to form to repair the damage. We can get more sulfur in the diet from onions, garlic, broccoli, egg yolks and other foods, or by supplements such as MSM (MethylSulfonoyl Methane) but we still need sunlight to make cholesterol sulfate which can be distributed through the body to keep us alive!
Apart from photoproducts, nitric oxide and cholesterol sulfate production, sunlight is essential for our circadian rhythm (body clock). Sunshine activates neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, sending signals to the pineal gland which regulates production of the hormone melatonin. When the circadian rhythm is upset, melatonin and other hormone production is disrupted, leading to mood problems, poor cognition (thinking), metabolic syndrome (leads to diabetes) and increased risk of cancer.
Tanning beds are famous for increasing risk of melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
Tanning beds have been outlawed in all States of Australia, except in the Northern Territory, where they are still legal, but there are no commercial solariums there because the tropical climate makes sunlight tanning easy. However, this is seen by some as a knee-jerk reaction by politicians to win votes.
Most tanning beds produce UV-A and UV-B radiation, but some better units are available which produce only UV-B, which are much safer if used correctly.
Staying too long in even a quality tanning bed will cause skin damage, a precursor to many forms of skin cancer. Tanning beds that emit high levels of UV-A should be avoided completely.
Vitamin D3 from food
We get some vitamin D from the diet. Eggs, fish, cod liver oil are all good sources, and also come naturally with Vitamin A, but it is almost impossible to get enough D3 from the diet, so we must top up our D3 from sunlight or supplements or both. Milk contains some vitamin D, but calcium and vitamin D in milk are very poorly absorbed. Asian women are more likely than white women to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, so doctors claim this is caused by low milk consumption, but Asian women are much less likely to have a hip fracture (the worst kind), indicating that traditional DEXA scans (bone density tests) do not mean much, as dense bones are often not as strong as less dense but more flexible bones.
Africans generally have stronger bones than caucasians, even though they get less vitamin D3 from sunlight. They appear to be much more sensitive to the sunlight they do receive.
VitaminD3 from supplements
Most Vitamin D3 sold in Australia from chemist shops or supermarkets contain 1000 IU which may be enough to prevent rickets in young people, but is nowhere near optimum for immunity and bone strength, especially in older people, and not enough for anyone except small children to have an optimal immune system.
LeanMachine recommends Vitamin D3 5000 IU daily for almost a year’s supply, and this is the cheapest health insurance anyone can buy!
Vitamin K2 is also recommended, as this combination helps put calcium where it belongs, in bones and teeth, and reduces calcium buildup in blood vessels (arterial plaque).
Vitamin A is also recommended for health benefits as well as to eliminate any chance of toxicity.
No Cholesterol means no Vitamin D3
As explained above, cholesterol is the building-block for vitamin D3, also for every hormone in the body and many other functions.
About half the adult population over 60 in Australia and the USA is taking statin medication.
Sold under many names including Simvastatin, Lipitor, Advicor, Lovastatin, Mevacor, Vytorin, Zocor, Lipex, Simcor, Crestor, Pitavastatin, Pravastatin, Rosuvastatin, Fluvastatin, and Cerivastatin (withdrawn 2001).
The Lies about Cholesterol
Statins do lower cholesterol, but we NEED cholesterol, it is NOT the enemy it is made out to be. Yes, cholesterol is found in a badly inflamed body, but this is because the liver makes more cholesterol to repair damage caused by the inflammation, which is the REAL cause of poor health.
Statins reduce cholesterol by preventing the liver from producing as much cholesterol, but the job of the liver is to make cholesterol as required.
If we eat cholesterol foods (such as meat or eggs) the liver makes less, if we eat no cholesterol (such as a vegan diet), the liver makes more, which is the way it should be.
When statins are used, they attempt to shut down this natural process, and in so doing, also shuts down co-enzyme Q10 which is vital for healthy muscles.
And the heart is the most important muscle in the body – why clobber it with statins?
Statins also stop production of 7-dehydrocholesterol, so then we get almost zero vitamin D3 from sunlight.
Statins have shown no benefit to women whatsoever in many studies.
For men who have had a heart attack, statins have shown a slight reduction in deaths from future heart attacks, but in all patients, statins cause an INCREASE in deaths from all other causes!
Because statins knock out our Co-enzyme Q10 (often called the spark-plug for the heart), the patient can suffer extensive muscle damage, causing pain, reduced mobility and even death.
Drug companies say they have no idea what causes this increase in death from statins, but the answer is obvious to me – low vitamin D3!
Studies show that treatment with one fish oil capsule daily prevented 9% of deaths in cardiac patients over 4 years, while those given the Crestor statin drug had an INCREASED death rate of 1% over the same period.
The Framingham study, the biggest and longest study ever, showed that those with the lowest cholesterol died first, and those with the highest cholesteol lived longest!
But the drug companies continue to perpetuate these cholesterol lies to maximise profits from their biggest-selling drug.
How much D3 do we need?
The older we get, the more vitamin Vitamin D3 we need.
The only way to know how much we have is by a blood test, because ethnic background, skin colour, amount of tan, food, medication, supplements, geographic location, sun exposure, clothing, sunscreen, exercise, BMI and many other factors determine how much Vitamin D3 we absorb and retain.
Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin, so daily levels do not vary much, as every fat cell in the body can store D3.
Always ask the doctor for a printed copy of your results so you can compare with any previous test and also get a true reading.
Unfortunately, most Australian labs say we need 60 to 160 nmol/L of D3, which is inadequate. Better labs say 75 nmol/L is the minimum, but we need more.
Values above 60 will prevent us from getting rickets, but will not give us good immunity.
For optimal immune system function, we should aim for the high end of the range of 125 to 175 nmol/L.
If we are battling cancer or some other serious disease, we should aim for 175 to 250 nmol/L but this requires careful monitoring and extra Vitamin K2 and Vitamin A to prevent toxicity.
Supplement values vary, and the RDA (recommended Daily Allowance) of 60 IU was alarmingly too low, and changed to 400 IU, originally determined as the minimum amount to prevent rickets.
Even the 400 IU allowance typically gives a blood test of 40 to 60 nmol/L which may barely stop rickets but will not provide a strong immune system.
Conservative studies determine that infants less than one year old need 400 IU daily, 1 year to adolescents need 400-600 IU daily, adults need 400-600 IU daily, and adults aged over 70 years need 400-800 IU daily.
More modern studies recommend babies take 400 IU, children 1000 IU, adults 4000 IU, and those over 70 may need 8000 IU daily.
Small doses are fine for strong bones, but for a strong immune system to ward off all disease, high doses are a must.
LeanMachine has taken 5000 IU daily for over 10 years, and has zero colds, flu or any other illness, not even a headache!
But don’t I get my Vitamin D3 from Milk?
Sorry, but you do not!
I was told to drink milk as a youngster, some 6 decades ago, and milk does indeed contain vitamin D and calcium, but these and other nutrients in milk are poorly absorbed in the gut.
Worse, pasteurised milk has most of the nutrients heated out of it, and homogenisation is very BAD for our health.
Homogenisation is a process making each fat globule 10 times smaller than normal, to save us the trouble of shaking the milk container to disperse the cream. The problem then is that these tiny fat globules then enter the bloodstream through imperfections in the gut lining, often referred to as “leaky gut syndrome”. When raw milk fat enters the blood directly like this, the immune system detects this as a foreign substance, and begins attacking these fat globules, and marks them as invaders. Now when we consume milk the regular way, and absorb it naturally through a healthy intestine, the immune system starts attacking this as well, as it has already been recognised as a foreign invader. The result: Allergies to Lactose, one of the main ingredients in milk, has reached epidemic proportions in the last few decades where homogenisation has become standard practice. Vitamin D3 can help stabilise an over-reactive immune system, but the only safe way to drink milk is to only use NON-HOMOGENISED milk. Most supermarkets have it, but you have to look past the big-name brands to find it.
In many countries it is against the law to buy non-pasteurised milk, but we can at least buy non-homogenised milk if we feel we must have milk (and we do not need milk).
Some Asian countries have diets where milk is non-existent, and their bones are stronger, and broken bones are rare.
We get more useful Vitamin D3 from broccoli and other fresh vegetables than from milk!
Milk is also BAD for our bones, as it is acid-forming in the body, and all acids in the blood cause an immediate reaction in the body to neutralise the blood acid (otherwise we die!).
This reaction, controlled by the parathyroid glands, leaches potassium, calcium and magnesium from bones, teeth and organs, the fastest way the body can neutralise the acid.
If we must drink milk (and we do not have to for a healthy diet) then the ONLY milk to buy is FULL CREAM, UNHOMOGENISED milk, which you can find at good supermarkets if you look hard enough.
The only better product is the milk straight from the cow, or better still straight from mother’s breast (most mothers will not be impressed if you ask for milk this way!)
Getting enough of the right Vitamin D3
Sunlight is still the best way to get enough Vitamin D3 and Cholesterol Sulfate, but for many, this can be difficult or impossible.
Supplements are the next best choice, but the supplements we buy at Chemist shops or supermarkets in Australia have only around 1000 IU of Vitamin D3.
They are also often combined with Calcium, which LeanMachine does NOT recommend, but that is another story.
While this is better than nothing, most people require 5 to 10 times this much to bring their levels to “optimum”.
For most health specialists, “optimum” means over 60 or 75 nmol/l (30 ng/ml), and if your results come in at over this threshold, the doctor will say you are fine.
However, true experts in this field say that truly optimum for a normal healthy person for immunity to disease, is between 125 and 175 nmol/L (50 – 70 ng/ml).
For those recovering from a serious disease, optimum should be 175 to 250 nmol/L (70 – 100 ng/ml).
Vitamin D3 can be toxic at high doses for extended periods, so continuous levels over 250 nmol/L (100 ng/ml) should be avoided.
Blood tests are advised for all very high-dosage patients.
People most at risk of deficiency are the elderly, those with with dark skin, those who cover their body with clothing or sun screen, or work night shifts or underground and never see the light of day, and those who live furthest from the equator or in cloudy climates.
Those at risk may need 10,000IU daily supplements, the rest of us can usually get plenty with 5000IU, and the very young who get plenty of sunlight on a regular basis may not require any.
Remember that we only get Vitamin D3 from sun in a blue sky when the sun is high, from the UVB (Ultra-Violet light in the “B” range”).
When the sun is low in the sky, or when there is cloud, or when the light comes through a glass window, UVB is blocked and we only receive UV-A which is the damaging, cancer-causing radiation with Zero Vitamin D3 benefits.
Other tests: Depending on the condition, the doctor may order other tests to check for liver and kidney disease as well as a full blood count.
A full blood test for Vitamin D3 is:
25-hydroxyvitamin-D (25-D or D2/D3) or 25(OH)D or simply 25-D
1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D3, or 1,25(OH)2 D3, or 1,25 2(OH), or simply 1,25-D
Most doctors will only test for 25(OH)D which is the storage form, which is fine for most people.
For those suspected of having Sarcoidosis (a rare condition) then both must be tested, and vitamin D supplementation and sunlight should be avoided altogether unless the active form 1,25(OH)2 is tested low.
There are many reports of children suffering from Autism and other serious conditions after vaccinations.
Vitamin D3 supplements should be taken for at least 1 week before any vaccination to reduce risk of unfortunate reactions.
Panadol, Panadeine, Paracetamol, Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Atasol, etc must NEVER be taken before or after any vaccination, even though doctors incorrectly recommend it to reduce pain and fever.
Autism rates in the USA are 1 in 45, while Autism rates in Cuba are 1 in 12,000.
A few decades ago, Austism rates were only around 1 in 200, before Panadol (Tylenol, Acetaminophen in the USA)
Cuba has a high vaccination rate of 97%, but the difference:
These over-the counter pain medications are prescription-only items in Cuba.
Of course, no drug company is interested in conducting a study where the result may be that their “safe and effective” product causes Autism, but as far as LeanMachine is concerned, Vitamin D3 reduces the risk of sickness from almost any disease.
Besides Autism, Panadol can destroy liver function (most patients on the liver transplant waiting list are there because of Panadol), and Panadol is also acted upon by enzymes which then destroy the body’s reserves of L-Glutathione, the natural “Master Antioxidant” in the body.
If you want your child vaccinated anyway, DO give them vitamin D3 and DO NOT give them any pain or fever medication.
A little fever is the body’s way to fight the toxins in the vaccination and the best way to deal with it is to let it run it’s course.
However, a very high fever can lead to convulsions, especially in small children. The best way to bring down a very high fever is to place the child in a cool to lukewarm bath and keep water over the skin using a sponge or cloth.
No drugs required, and much safer and more effective than any drug.
Better still, vaccinations can be avoided altogether for those with a strong immune system.
For more information on vaccinations, see this article: Vaccinations.
Allergies, hives, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis, etc, are all autoimmune conditions.
Little help is available from medications which merely help to ease symptoms.
Vitamin D3 builds the immune system and protects us from colds, flu and other diseases, but Vitamin D3 is also an Immune Moderator, helping to dampen the effect of the immune system over-reacting, the cause of auto-immune disease.
Vitamin D3 can also help treat the cause of the symptoms, often Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), found in over 70% of autoimmune patients.
H. pylori can invade the gut via contaminated water or food, or from contact with infected people or animals, causing gut inflammation, disrupting the immune system.
Vitamin D3 effectively destroys H. pylori and restores the immune system, often reducing allergy symptoms by 30% in seven days, and another 40% in 12 weeks.
H. pylori infects around 30% of adults in the western world, more if we are over 60 with low Vitamin D3 levels.
A blood test can give your D3 levels, but the lab will say 60 to 75 nmol/L is OK, but we need 125 nmol/L minimum to destroy H. pylori.
Mushrooms, eggs, wild-caught salmon, etc have natural Vitamin D3 but the modern Western diet is lacking in these. Mushrooms grown in the dark will have no vitamin D3, but 30 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight can generate significant D3 levels.
The latest science Says: “It’s not just about bones, it’s about your total well-being!”
Professor Michael Holick:
“We now think that maintaining adequate Vitamin D3 levels are important for decreasing the risk of prostate cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.
There is some evidence that in young children if they are fortified with vitamin D3 from 12 months old it can reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes by 80%“.
Professor Philip Sambrook:
“We have always thought it could not happen in Australia – it is too sunny a country. However, people do not get sunlight for various reasons and if you do not get some sunlight you do not make vitamin D3. We do not get it much in food any more so for that reason, deficiency is quite common. And the vitamin protects healthy cells while also killing cancer cells.”
LeanMachine online supplements
Note: This online supplement shop is now closed, but each product page contains a link to the best supplier of that product.
LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:
- Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
- RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
- Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the
- University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
- TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
- TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
- Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
- Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
- WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
- WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
- Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
- MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.
Updated 11th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ&HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285
© 15th September 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
Reproduced from original article:
- The U.S. health care system is riddled with inefficiencies. With an annual budget of $3 trillion, it’s the largest industry in the United States, so there’s financial motivation to capitalize on expensive treatments, even if they don’t work well
- Price gouging, overtreatment and fraud are yet other problems plaguing the U.S. health care system, contributing to its inefficiency
- Many prevention strategies and simple, inexpensive treatments are ignored and not used for the fact they do not generate income for the doctors
- Switching the incentive model is part of the answer. Hospitals that pay their doctors a salary and bonuses for patient health outcomes see significant improvements and have lower health care outlays
- Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania prescribed prediabetic and diabetic patients fresh, whole food, along with treatment and educational support. As a result, they reduced the annual cost for Type 2 diabetics by 80%
Travis Christofferson — who has a premedical undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in materials engineering and science — has written two excellent books about health. The first one, “Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer,” helped me understand the profound influence of diet in cancer.
Here, we discuss his latest book, “Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators Is Trying to Transform Our Health Care System,” which addresses questions such as: “What has happened to American health care?” and “What are the foundational disruptions or corruptions in the system?”
His book, in some ways, is based on the theory promoted in the book and subsequent film, “Moneyball.” It describes how you can use statistics to massively improve a flawed system. Christofferson explains:
“I’d been invited to speak at a small charity event in London. The speaker who went right after me was Dr. Ndabezinhle Mazibuko. He was at this startup clinic called Care Oncology in the U.K.
The idea behind this clinic was that there are drugs that have gone off patent that have [other uses], but they’re unrealized. They’re undervalued in the system. One of these drugs is metformin in the use for cancer.
There’s this vast body of data to suggest it can improve cancer outcomes, but there’s no good mechanism to get this on the prescription pads of doctors. It just doesn’t happen. There’s a flaw in the system.
To address this flaw or this underappreciated argument, they opened this clinic and then prescribed a combination of four drugs that showed they had synergy, very few side effects and the best chance to [improve] outcomes. The cost of the drugs is about $60 per month …
I agreed to open a clinic in the U.S. to help them start in the U.S. I opened it up in my small town, Rapid City. We started doing telemedicine as well to address the rest of the country. I arranged the time to speak at our local cancer center, to present what we were doing to the local oncologists.
My hope was that they would see the value in it and refer patients to us, especially patients with dire cancers, like glioblastoma, where there are few good treatment options. This is such a low-risk intervention that it had a good potential to help …
Immediately when I was done … one of the oncologists just lit into me. He accused us of taking advantage of desperate patients. Then he brought up, ‘Why would you prescribe a medication for Type 2 diabetes for cancer?’ Another oncologist in the room in the corner said, ‘Well, I do that.’
What struck me in that moment is you can have these medical doctors in the same room that have a profound disagreement on data that we have just gone through. If this is the case, what are the inefficiencies in the health care system? That was the original spark for the book.”
Identifying the Inefficiencies Within the System
Michael Lewis’ book, “Moneyball,” showed how, within a simple game of baseball, you can have massive inefficiencies. By taking away the human biases and just applying statistics to find what is undervalued in that market, you can massively boost the performance of a team (in the book, it was the Oakland A’s, which had a tiny budget).
“In health care, we have a massive disparity in valuation — how we value treatments,” Christofferson says.
“As I said, metformin has got massive repositories of data to suggest you can ward off not only cancer but a plethora of chronic disease, but it’s the price of a nickel a pill and very rarely gets prescribed for these other indications … [‘Curable’] is an examination of these huge disparities in health care and why it’s gotten so out of control in the U.S.”
The health care system is the largest industry in the United States. It has an annual revenue of $3 trillion. So, there’s a financial motivation to capitalize on expensive treatments, even if they don’t work well, and that’s a significant part of the problem. Price gouging is another related problem. Overtreatment and plain fraud are yet others.
Christofferson suspects these issues may account for half of all health care costs. One answer is to focus more on undervalued treatments and low-cost prevention — both of which could help prevent cost escalation. In his book, Christofferson recounts a number of stories demonstrating this.
Drug-Free Treatments Save Money
One such example is Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania. For Type 2 diabetes, they introduced the Fresh Food Farmacy. In a nutshell, patients with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes are given a prescription for fresh, whole foods. Patients are allowed two free meals a day and recipes, along with intensive care and educational support.
As a result of this program, Gelsinger Health was able to reduce its per-year outlays and cost for Type 2 diabetics by a whopping 80%. “It only cost them $2,600 a year,” Christofferson says.
“What interests me about that is they didn’t leave out the human component. They made sure that the patients’ families [were] engaged. They gave free food to the families so they can all cook together. Pretty soon, when people have this level of engagement and feel like they’re part of a system, they start asking questions.
‘What else can I do? Can I exercise? How do I stop smoking?’ Not only is it changing their health status, but it’s changing the way their families view health and what they do about it. To me, there are these wonderful examples of places, these pockets that are doing extraordinarily good work.
The other one I focused on is Intermountain Health Care which, shockingly, if you … extrapolated their system to the rest of the U.S., we would see a 40% reduction in health care costs immediately.”
The Overwhelming Power of Incentives
Another fundamental issue that really needs to be addressed is the physicians. Most medical students pursue medicine for the right reasons. But then they get brainwashed into a single-minded focus on drugs and surgical intervention, and aren’t given the education and tools to address the actual roots of disease.
What’s more, once they’re done with their schooling, they’re a few hundred thousand dollars in debt, which they need to pay off. And then they go into a health care system where they’re given just 10 to 15 minutes with each patient. It’s a system that is designed to fail right out of the gate.
“As I wrote this book, what I kept coming back to was the overwhelming power of incentives,” Christofferson says. “Our system is so flawed with regard to incentives. The biggest offender of that, by far, is the fee-for-service system, where we demand our doctors get paid for every test and procedure that they do.
This creates a terrible incentive for them so that they have to think like businessmen … If there’s a marginal procedure and you have a financial incentive to do it, perhaps you’re going to do it. This leads to overtreatment.
There’s a brilliant example of that in the book. This was actually done by Atul Gawande. He wrote about this in The New Yorker. McAllen, Texas, had two times the Medicare utilization compared to the national averages — $15,000 per person.
And it wasn’t specific to that demographic region, because if you went to El Paso, up the border, it’s the same demographics, but it was half the cost there. He flew down there to ask why. What had happened was the doctors had just developed this entrepreneurial culture where they almost competed with each other financially …
Really, their focus was money. Just putting a pen to paper and writing that article had a sterilizing effect. Suddenly, the regulators came in. They looked at all the fraud that was going on. There was, I think, $20 million fines levied. The overutilization started to drop …
When you look at the high-quality providers, like Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, they put their physicians on a salary. The marketplace will reward that behavior because now you can see the data … [At] the Mayo Clinic … if they don’t need surgery, they won’t get one. The doctor has no financial incentive to operate.
So, the incentive structure is entirely backwards. That’s the underlying theme of this book. We really have to take a look at human incentives and what drives human beings; how they make mistakes. We can design systems around that to do better.”
The Success of Intermountain Health
Intermountain Health, for example, places their doctors on salary, and gives them bonuses based on health outcomes. They also assess the differences between treatments to see which works best.
For example, they discovered that inducing delivery in pregnant women led to more babies being born with respiratory problems. Guidelines for inducing labor were entered into the electronic medical record, which led to a drop in early inductions from 30% to less than 2%. This resulted in babies born with fewer respiratory problems.
Another example: Patients are always given antibiotics before surgery, but it’s never been established when the optimal time to administer the drugs is. Intermountain compared medical records, finding the optimal time was two hours before surgery, which cut their surgical infection rate by over half.
The History of Medicine
Christofferson’s book also addresses some of the history of medicine, and the advent of controlled clinical trials. Historically, the practice of medicine was largely dependent on the doctor’s experience and personal ideas.
“Hippocrates said that a physician’s judgment matters more than any external measurement. This really guided medicine in the beginning, in the 1700 or 1800s,” Christofferson says.
“I was shocked to learn that the first well-conducted trial was in the ‘40s … That’s how far [medical science] lagged behind. And then all of a sudden, it kind of exploded because they shifted the patent structure to where over-the-counter drugs were separated from patented drugs.
This launched pharmaceutical companies into a for-profit venture. They took over the randomized control trials … That was the gold standard to determine if a therapy was good, if it was going to be approved by the regulatory bodies in the world.
Today … the pendulum has almost swung too far to where you have to have this randomized control trial and Food and Drug Administration approval for a therapy to be good.”
Novel Science That Might Extend Life Span
In the interview, we also discuss a few side tangents, such as cellular reprogramming therapies under investigation. David Sinclair, Ph.D., refers to the use of what’s known as Yamanaka transcription factors, which can be used to reedit your genome to reset the epigenetic clock and the DNA methylation. As explained by Christofferson, who has looked into this research:
“I’m completely fascinated by it. I think it’s not known as widely as it could be. Longevity science is focused on caloric restriction. That’s the reliable way to extend mammalian lifespans … Epigenetic rejuvenation is outside of that …
When you think about humans, about all life for that matter, we are essentially immortal in the fact that we take our aged germ line cells and we recombine them through the process of fertilization to create a new life. That life is biological age zero when it comes into being.
How does that happen? The way that happens is it takes 23 chromosomes from the mom, 23 from the dad. There’s a process in the egg that wipes off the processing of the software. The software in the genome is the epigenome. There’s molecular tags on our DNA that are wiped clean and new ones are put on. This kicks off the process of embryogenesis.
In the process, it resets the aging clock. Now we’re starting to learn that you can do this, you can take a cell … and put it in a Petri dish, add these factors — there are four factors involved in this process — and you will reset the epigenome back to age zero … Potentially, now it’s a therapy. You can inject this back into them.”
The Influence of Lifestyle and Social Connection
Christofferson also points out science showing that inherited genetics account for a rather small portion of our health and longevity potential — about 20%. The remaining 80% is predicated on environmental variables, factors such as toxic exposures, certainly, but also love and interpersonal relationships.
“All of these things we experience day to day have an impact … Our epigenome changes the way genes are expressed. This has a massive impact on our health.
We know this because of identical twin studies … When you track them over time, their destinies are very different. They very rarely die of the same diseases. This nurture aspect, this 80%, that’s the part we have control over …
I looked at that in the book. What misconceptions do we have under these kinds of medical biases? What are our misconceptions as individuals about our own health? … What are the most important factors to stay healthy and live a long life?
We always think of diet, exercise and genetics … [but] the biggest factor is your social life and how engaged you are in the world — the number of close friends you have, social integration. How many people have you talked to throughout the day? Did you say hi to the mailman? Did you talk or chat with people at the gym? That’s got a massive influence on your immune system.
When you’re lonely, you have this sort of corrosive inflammatory response. But when you’re not lonely, your immune system has a more targeted response. Inflammation, as we know, is the root cause of so many cardiovascular disease, cancer and so many chronic diseases.
That’s kind of why these blue zones get so much attention. That’s the constant variable … People are connected and they’re surrounded by each other all the time. [The blue zones] is where you have … 10 times the number of centenarians than you do in North America.”
Indeed, epigenetic programming, which is dependent on environmental factors, far outweigh the influence of your genetics, and it does this in a very specific way. It’s usually through transcription factors that either methylate the DNA (put small one-carbon molecules on the DNA), which essentially silences that specific genome, or they acetylate it, which activates those genes.
Depending on the combination of shutting off and turning on of genes, you get the expression of the genome. So, it’s not what you’ve inherited, but your expression of the genome that’s so important, and this is really how these lifestyle factors influence your genes.
“The good news about the epigenome is it’s able to be manipulated,” Christofferson says. “We can change it, from lifestyle factors all the way to these Yamanaka factors that kind of reset it back to a younger age.”
In short, the fact that epigenetic factors control so much of your health and longevity potential is powerful motivation to make simple, inexpensive lifestyle changes. Basics include sleeping well, choosing the right foods, choosing when not to eat (time-restriction eating), exercising, getting plenty of sunshine, and addressing loneliness and stress.
These are simple basics that pretty much everyone could apply to radically improve their health and avoid the medical care system, which is fraught with hazards. While medical mistakes are a leading cause of death in the U.S., the greatest hazard is the fact that so many doctors fail to understand what the foundational cause of disease is.
By failing to address the root of disease, they are causing premature death and needless pain and suffering in a majority of the population. As noted by Christofferson:
“The numbers are scary. I think it’s 200,000 die every year from medical error. I learned that 7,000 people die from sloppy physician handwriting. If you’re in the hospital for four weeks, you have about a coin-flip chance of developing C. diff, which is a horrible, horrible intestinal infection.
Anytime you can stay out of that system, [you avoid] not just the financial but the very real health risks. We didn’t even touch on the overtreatment and cancer that is so rampant …
We’ve had such a focus on early detection for cancer. We’ve gotten much better at it. However, that hasn’t changed the death rates at all. But it’s led to an incredible amount of overtreatment, unnecessary treatment, because most of these tumors are not dangerous at that point.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer from a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, you’re 47 times more likely to receive damaging treatment — chemotherapy, surgery or radiation — than you are to have your life extended …
My editor said something to me while I was writing the book that I thought was beautiful. You can be your own culture of one when it comes to health. Just do these very simple things … and just being with other people. That, in and of itself, is health care.”
To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of “Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators Is Trying to Transform Our Health Care System.” I really enjoy the way he tells the story and makes it a very readable book.
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- Functional genetics looks at the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced “snips”) of genes
- When you have SNPs (genetic variants or defects on the genes), enzymes may not be working effectively, or the gene may be upregulated or downregulated
- While traditional genetics often looks for potential disease states, functional genetics looks for potential impairment of function and helps find the best nutritional intervention to bring your body back into balance
- People with genetic weaknesses that hamper detoxification who are exposed to high amounts of environmental toxins can be struggling with health due to their limited ability to detoxify
- NutriGenetic Research Institute is devoted to functional genomic testing, training health professionals to help people understand the results and how to apply it to improve their health
Functional genomics is a gene testing modality with enormous value that many are completely unaware of. Bob Miller1 is a certified traditional naturopath specializing in genetic-specific nutrition. He’s the founder of the NutriGenetic Research Institute,2 devoted to testing and helping people understand the results of their functional genetic testing and how to apply it to improve their health.
“As a traditional naturopath, we’re not licensed medical doctors, so we don’t diagnose, treat or prescribe,” Miller explains. “We look at the functional approach of, ‘How is the terrain off in the body?’ … [W]hen the body is toxic or inflamed, that’s when pathogens have a better opportunity to thrive.
Many years ago, I learned about how homocysteine has pathways that clear it that may be impaired by genetic variants. I became very fascinated by it. I started looking at the enzymes that clear it, and then the genetics behind it.
My whole naturopathic and holistic practice is [now] dedicated to helping clients measure their functional genomics, which is quite a bit different than traditional genetics that looks for disease patterns, and trying to find out how we can make interventions to bring the body back into balance …
Our goal is to be able to make a contribution to functional practitioners, so they can do their job a lot better and improve the lives of those who are suffering with some of those things that nobody can seem to figure out …
To sum up what we’re finding is that those with genetic weakness in detox pathways are exposed to environmental factors we weren’t dealing with 50 to 75 years ago; their ability to detox is overwhelmed. I think this is a whole new paradigm that we have to look at in wellness.
Those who don’t have a specific disease, so to speak, but are just totally overwhelmed by all of the epigenetic factors, such as pesticides, electromagnetic fields (EMFs) … excess iron … plastics … mold … [and] sometimes even oversupplementation with things like folate and glutamine … that no matter what they try, it doesn’t work …
That’s why we need to move to personalized care, based upon the individual. Fortunately, we now have tools to do that.”
What Is Functional Genetics?
Certain genes are known to predispose you to, or raise your risk of, certain diseases. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Functional genetics looks at the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced “snips”) of genes related to function.
You’ve probably seen representations of the DNA ladder. On the end of each rung is a molecule from each of your parents. These molecules can either make your DNA optimal or, if you have a SNP, meaning a defect, that gene will not work at optimal efficiency. Miller explains:
“To make this simple, we eat fats, carbohydrates and proteins. We drink water, breathe air and are exposed to sunlight. What an absolute miracle it is that all of that turns into us: our blood, our skin, our nails, our organs and our thought processes. All of that is one enzymatic process after another.
So, an enzyme takes substance A; pulls in what we call cofactors and makes substance B. That continually happens throughout your body — one process after another. It’s your genetic makeup that [provides] the instructions on how to make these enzymes.
When we have genetic variants, SNPs, on the genes, sometimes those enzymes either aren’t as effective … or might be upregulated or downregulated. Therefore, that substance A to substance B [conversion] may not occur as it should.
Now, people get all excited about whether they have genetic variants or not, but there’s something else just as important. That’s the cofactor. Remember, substance A plus cofactors turns into substance B. You could have absolutely perfect genetics, that enzyme is made perfectly, but if you’re missing the cofactors, that A to B [conversion] is not going to work …
Where people really get hit hard is when they’ve got genetic weakness and cofactor weakness. Then there’s a third piece. Sometimes there are things that interfere. For example, lead, mercury and other things may suppress that enzymatic function …
Now, interestingly, we have all kinds of backups. One pathway may not be working, but another one might kick in. But what we’re observing … is that those who are struggling usually have multiple pathways blocked. Plus, they get multiple epigenetic exposures … When you get those epigenetic and genetic factors going together, that’s when things really start going awry.”
The Relationship Between mTOR Pathway and Autophagy
Autophagy means “self-eating” and refers to your body’s process of eliminating damaged and defective cellular parts that are targeted for lysosome, which then digests them. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a molecular signaling pathway responsible for either growth or repair, depending on whether it is stimulated or inhibited.
I’ve often stated that to upregulate maintenance and repair (which will boost longevity and reduce your risk for cancer), you need to suppress the mTOR pathway. One of the most efficient ways to do this is to limit your protein intake, but it’s not the only way. Autophagy and mTOR are two processes that work together, but are inverse to each other. Miller likens mTOR to a construction crew, whereas autophagy refers to the cleanup crew.
“One of the ways you can tell if your autophagy is not working is when you get those age spots, sun spots, liver spots, whatever you’d like to call them,” Miller says. “That’s when the old cell is not cleared away and it becomes oxidized, it becomes senescent. It actually becomes a free radical-giving reactive oxygen species.
Now, we need a balance between [mTOR and autophagy]. We need a time to build and we need a time to clean. One of the things our research institute [found] in some of our studies on those with chronic Lyme disease [is] that we are being exposed to more epigenetic environmental factors that stimulate mTOR … ”
Factors That Activate mTOR Versus Those That Support Autophagy
Examples of environmental factors that activate mTOR include:
|Xenoestrogens (chemicals in plastic)||EMFs|
|Excess iron||Excess folic acid, folate or methyl folate|
|Excess glutamate||Amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine and valine|
When mTOR is activated, it inhibits autophagy and, according to Miller, many of the health challenges people face these days appear to be related to excess mTOR activation.
This is also one way by which a cyclical ketogenic diet helps improve your health, as it inhibits mTOR and activates autophagy. When mTOR is chronically activated, it will not only inhibit autophagy but also impair apoptosis (cell death), and if that’s impaired, your risk for cancer will significantly increase as well.
“We have identified the genes that are involved with autophagy,” Miller says. “They’re called Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1), serine/threonine-protein kinase (ULK2), 5’ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and AuTophaGy related 1 (ATG1).
Those all stimulate autophagy. We’re finding that when people have a lot of genetic variants, especially when they inherit it from both parents, this is where their autophagy’s weakened. They’re 45 years old and covered with age spots. They can’t detox.
Ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and nutrients [such as] lithium and berberine support autophagy. Resveratrol and curcumin slow down mTOR.
When you put the three together — the caloric restriction mimetics (CRM) [editor’s note: supplements that mimic the antiaging effects of calorie restriction] … along with the keto diet, along with some form of intermittent fasting — you’re able to bring balance to mTOR and autophagy.”
If Ketogenic Diet or Intermittent Fasting Fails for You, This Could Be Why
While intermittent fasting is an excellent strategy for a majority of people, it doesn’t work as expected for everyone. As explained by Miller, members of his research team have discovered having a functional heme pathway is extremely important when you’re on a ketogenic diet and/or intermittently fasting.
Heme protein is created through an eight-step process beginning with succinyl coenzyme A (succinyl CoA), glycine and amino acids. Heme protein in turn is a component of hemoglobin, but it’s also involved in the making of nitric oxide, catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and sulfite oxidase (SUOX), which is your sulfide to sulfate conversion.
“It’s involved in so many processes that I didn’t even realize until we started to research,” Miller says. “This [heme] pathway may be impaired by … glyphosate [which impacts glycine] … lead … and genetic variants in the heme pathway.
If any of those happen, you don’t make adequate heme, so you’re going to be a very poor detoxer. Now, what’s interesting … [is that] if porphyrins [glycoproteins responsible for pore formation in cell membranes] are not transferred one to another, they will block the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor sites. GABA is the ‘Don’t worry. Be happy. Sleep. Relax’ [neurotransmitter]. Clearly, there are problems with anxiety in the world today.
If this heme pathway gets disturbed, people oftentimes crave carbohydrates. If they try to go keto, it doesn’t work. If they try to do intermittent fasting, it doesn’t work … It’s a small amount of people, but for some individuals who just crave carbohydrates, they’ll get hangry if they don’t have their carbohydrates. They’re actually feeding that heme pathway.
If someone’s ever tried keto and is like, ‘This just does not work for me,’ there’s a potential that the heme pathway could be impaired. You have to keep those carbohydrates coming in on a regular basis to feed it, or else you feel horrible. I remember in the past people telling me, ‘Whenever I try to eat healthy, I feel horrible. When I eat junk, I feel better.’
I used to think, ‘Yeah. I’m not sure I buy that.’ But now that you understand this heme pathway and how carbohydrates and simple sugars can feed it, it starts to make sense that that is a potential scenario for some people.”
Even if You’re Anemic, You May Be Overabsorbing Iron
As mentioned earlier, iron stimulates mTOR. Clearly, iron is crucial for optimal health. Without sufficient amounts of iron, you cannot make sufficient amounts of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through your body. However, in excess, iron is incredibly destructive.
“Here’s one of the interesting things we found through our research. There are many people who have genetic predisposition to overabsorbing iron, yet they’re told all their life they’re anemic. It just seems like such a dichotomy; how can you be anemic if you’re overabsorbing iron?
One of the things that we … find in many who are struggling and can’t get answers anywhere else is that they overabsorb iron. There’s an enzyme called ferroportin, [which] is what takes iron out of the cells. SNPs there, or genetic defects, inhibit the removal of the iron. Through something called the Fenton reaction … iron may combine with hydrogen peroxide to make hydroxyl radicals.
This can then go on to make another nasty free radical called peroxynitrite. Consequently, the person is anemic because they are measuring what’s in the blood, but the iron can be in excess and inside the cells, causing massive inflammation.
As that iron bangs around inside the cell, it creates fatigue, because the mitochondria are having a hard time making energy. These are the people who if someone gives them iron, many times, they feel considerably worse, because they’ve just fed the fire.
In our consulting, one of the things we probably do the most is identifying the Fenton reaction going on and taking remedial action to, for example, help turn the hydrogen peroxide into water through an enzyme called catalase; supporting enzymes and antioxidants called glutathione and thioredoxin that turn the hydrogen peroxide into water, [and] using homeopathics to make the iron behave itself.”
Hydrogen water can be helpful here, Miller notes, because it helps decrease the excess hydroxyl radicals. “Quite simply, H2O2 plus iron equals hydroxyl free radical (OH-), which is one of the most highly reactive and damaging free radicals,” Miller explains.
I’ve previously interviewed Tyler LeBaron, one of the leading experts on molecular hydrogen, and he believes the benefits may be related more to the upregulation of antioxidant pathways, such as the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Either way, whatever the mechanism, it seems clear hydrogen water has the ability to neutralize free radicals.
Situations in Which NAC or Methyl Folate May Backfire
I’ve previously written about the benefits of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), the rate-limiting factor for glutathione, which is a master antioxidant made by your body. However, in order for this to work, you must have the required enzymes. What’s more, if you have an iron problem, the cysteine you take can combine with the iron to create hydroxyl radicals — essentially worsening your situation.
“It goes back to the fact that we’ve got to get away from the cookie cutter, ‘Oh, you’re inflamed. Take NAC.’ NAC can be the perfect thing for you, or it can make you worse, depending on your genomic make up,” Miller says.
Miller has developed a hierarchical pyramid of different variables and his approach to treating them. Interestingly, many who superficially look at functional genomics think that the methylation defect is one of the most important. It is important, but according to Miller there are many others that supersede it in terms of importance.
“[Methylation] is about how we take folic acid or folate from our diet and turn it into methyl folate, which is a very important molecule. For a woman who’s pregnant, you’ve got to have it for a good pregnancy. We’re not saying it’s not a good thing … Now, one of the interesting things about methyl folate is you need it for pregnancy because it supports mTOR.
If someone’s already in mTOR dominance and they take methyl folate, they’re going to get more anxious and more inflamed. I’ve talked to so many people who’ve said, ‘Oh, yeah. I have MTHFR. Somebody put me on methyl B12, methyl folate. I felt great for two weeks, and then I crashed.’
The reason they may have crashed is because they started to stimulate mTOR, weakening their autophagy even more, driving more inflammation … As we dug deeper, we realized that methyl folate is important, but it has to be done at the right time. That’s why I developed my pyramid.
At the very bottom we have things we have to address first, such as, is iron becoming a free radical? Is hydrogen peroxide not being cleared? Is there nitric oxide synthase (NOS) uncoupling? — where rather than making nitric oxide, we make more peroxynitrite.
And then we look at how we’re making antioxidants. How’s our glutathione pathways? How’s our superoxide dismutase? How are we making NADPH? … For the most part, I believe that when people are massively inflamed, you need to address that first.
If someone is massively inflamed, if their iron is creating hydroxyl radicals, if they have weakness in their antioxidants … and you throw methyl folate in there … there’s a very good chance it will make the situation worse.
By and large, if someone’s massively inflamed, I’d like to think about methyl folate six to eight months down the road, two to three days a week. We tend to think, ‘If a little’s good for us, a lot must be good for us.’ I’m now thinking need to be pulsing things.”
I totally agree pulsing is a key component that should not be overlooked, whether you’re taking supplements, fasting or doing a ketogenic diet. It’s important to go through cycles of buildup and tear-down.
For example, during a partial fast, you’re stimulating autophagy through caloric restriction. At that time, you would not want to take anything that stimulates mTOR (such as methyl folate or any of the other items listed above), as by stimulating mTOR you effectively interrupt the autophagy process.
Mast Cells Could Be Wreaking Havoc With Your Health
Glutathione rapidly loses electrons, making it useless unless recharged by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate hydrogen (NADPH). As explained by Miller, the “NADPH steal,” a term he coined, may also be at play in many of the health issues people face today.
It’s becoming more widely known that you can have excess mast cells. Miller estimates about 80 percent of his clients have excess mast cell activation triggering histamine reactions. One of the signs of this is redness of the face due to heat intolerance. Sensitivity to touch is another, as are frequent, red, raised rashes.
Mast cells are white blood cells that come to the rescue when there’s a pathogen or a foreign invader that needs to be eliminated. While overfiring mast cells can cause problems, they’re not inherently bad, and strategies that inhibit them can backfire. Instead, Miller recommends determining why your mast cells are overactive.
His team presented research at the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society’s 19th Annual Conference in November last year, identifying epigenetic factors that stimulate mast cells. He explains the relationships between mast cells, NADPH, NOX and glutathione:
“In simple terms, glutathione … has one chance to give a free radical an electron. Once it does that, it becomes oxidized. Then we need to donate that electron back. There’s this substance called NADPH that donates that electron back.3 It takes that oxidized glutathione and turns it back into reduced. That’s a good thing.
Now, NADPH has a dual role. There’s also an enzyme called NOX (NADPH oxidase). Its only purpose is to take this NADPH and turn it into a free radical … Now, they’ve done studies on animals. When they knock out that NOX enzyme, the animal dies from infection because it doesn’t have the ability to kill the pathogen.
Again, NOX and free radicals are not bad. But there are multiple factors that are now overstimulating NOX. One of them is sulfite. Sulfite needs to turn into sulfates. If we have deficiency of heme, we may not turn sulfites in sulfates … If sulfites don’t turn into sulfates, the sulfites may tell the NOX enzyme, ‘You need to make inflammation.’
Dopamine stimulates it [NOX], so stress will cause it. Glutamate stimulates it. Iron stimulates the NOX enzyme, and so does excessive mTOR … The NADPH steal is when NADPH gets stolen away from recycling glutathione, recycling thriodoxine, making nitric oxide, and potentially making excess mast cells.
There are a lot of people struggling with excess mast cells firing. They’re really sick. They don’t know what to do … Mold will also stimulate mast cells …
To sum it up, NADPH is critical for recycling your antioxidants. I believe the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and the NADPH are some of the most important things we can have adequate levels of for longevity and good health. We’re using up a lot of it because we’re exposed to so many toxic substances. Then, if another set of substances are stealing it to stimulate NOX to make mast cells, then we’ve just doubled the problem.”
Molecular hydrogen serves a role here as well, as studies have shown molecular hydrogen is an effective inhibitor of NOX,4 and can increase your concentration of NADPH. Curcumin also inhibits NOX, as does luteolin, apigenin and olive leaf. Aldosterone, on the other hand, stimulates NOX, Miller says.
This interview is quite loaded with information, not all of which has been covered in this article. For even more side notes and fascinating tangents, I recommend listening to the interview in its entirety.
Health practitioners interested in learning more about functional genomic analysis and how to apply it in your own practice, see the NutriGenetic Research Institute’s website, where you can sign up for their 30-hour, 14-module online certification course to become a nutritional genetic consultant.
Webinars for health practitioners are held every other Thursday. They also hold an annual conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The next one is scheduled for November 2019. In September, they’re also holding a seminar on environmental toxicity, detoxification and methylation mapping.
Patients interested in more information are directed to the yourgenomicresource.com which includes a listing of doctors who have completed the training and are qualified to provide nutritional guidance based on your SNPs. Up until last year, Miller could guide patients based on the genetic data provided by companies such as 23andMe. Now, he has developed his own DNA testing, which is capable of identifying some 300,000 SNPs.
Importantly, NutriGenetic Research Institute will never sell your private DNA or health data to anyone, which is one of the reasons why 23andMe is so inexpensive — they make their money by selling your DNA results to drug companies.
“I have pledged to everyone in writing that this data will never be sold to anyone. The other thing people can do, if they’re still worried, you can just change your name. Just come up with a fake name. It doesn’t matter. We don’t care. You just have to remember what it is,” Miller says.
“The [DNA] data from Brooks at Rutgers gets loaded into my software, which is in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania — a huge database. Then it crunches the data and gives a report, including the pyramid …
If you’re sick, you’ve been everywhere and you’re not getting better, this is certainly an option … Our whole goal is to help people get well. And to make a little bit of a dent in functional medicine — to help functional practitioners have tools that they can help, because functional medicine doctors see the tough cases. We want to give them some tools so that they can do a better job …
One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Genetics is never a diagnosis, but it tells you where to start looking.’ It’s like shining a light. ‘Think about looking here. Investigate whether this is a problem.’ Sometimes the SNPs show a problem, sometimes they don’t, but it can really give you clues to look where you may never have thought to look before.”